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Gorotani and Yoshizumi Defend Fuji Mountain Race Titles

Just ahead of an approaching typhoon former Hakone Ekiden Fifth Stage man Shun Gorotani and established mountain runner Yuri Yoshizumi both repeated their summit climb wins in Friday's 71st edition of the iconic Fuji Mountain Race.


Already having established himself as one of Japan's premier uphill specialists, Gorotani had a lead of over four minutes by halfway into the run up to the peak of Mt. Fuji. Gorotani covered the 21 km, 3000 m+ elevation gain course in 2:39:28, almost 8 minutes off his winning time last year but 14 minutes ahead of runner-up Miki Ushida. Speaking to Dogsorcaravan post-race Gorotani expressed disappointment with his time, saying he couldn't move his legs at all. "I've still got a long way to go," he said.


Training for the climb last week Yoshizumi fell and broke her left hand. Refusing to let either the pain or heavy cast slow her down, Yoshizumi was the first woman to the summit in 3:11:14. Like Gorotani she was far off her 2017 time of 3:01:17 but had an unassailable lead over 2nd place, the next woman Mina Ogawa reaching the finish line in 3:23:53. "It was a little awkward but I didn't think [my hand] was going to have much impact on my run," Yoshizumi told Dogorcaravan. "But my time was terrible! I was trying to break 3 hours, but I wasn't even close."

A former marathoner before switching to mountain running, Yoshizumi won the Hokkaido Marathon in 2012. Another past Hokkaido winner, 2006 champ Kaori Yoshida, won the women's short course race to Mt. Fuji's Fifth Stage. Gorotani's Comody Iida teammate Yuki Yamada won the men's short course race.

special thanks to Dogsorcaravan
text © 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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