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Ultra Runner Osada Does 50 Ascents of Mount Takao in Three Days (updated)

Best-known for taking on a solo 100-miler around a single tree along a riverbank near his home in the early weeks of the pandemic, ultra runner Goshi Osada was back at it this week with another solo challenge. This time Osada tackled western Tokyo's Mount Takao, a popular recreational trail hike peaking out at 599 m. 

Starting on Monday, Osada attempted 50 consecutive round trips of a 4 km loop up and down the mountain, starting at around 240 m, going to the summit, and back down. Running through the night and covering each lap of the partially snow-covered course in about 50 minutes, he completed the 50th lap late Wednesday night for a total distance of 200 km with 18,000 m total climb and double that for total elevation change. 

Osada estimated that he slept for a total of 5 hours over the three days and burned over 21,000 kcal. "I was constantly refueling," he said. Post-run he told JRN, "Over the last two years all the races I'd been targeting were canceled, and that hurt my motivation. Doing 50 laps of Mount Takao was something I'd thought about for years, and when I decided to do it all the forgotten passion came back right before I started. This was a tough goal and there wasn't any guarantee that I'd be able to finish it, but saying publicly that I was going to do it put pressure on myself to perform."

"I was very nervous that if I fell even once on one of the technical sections it could radically change the situation, and I felt a lot pressure about being extra careful on the last two laps so that something didn't happen. But thanks to the process and methodology I've refined in my running up to this point I was able to get through both those situations and my own limitations. It might have been a bit of a reckless challenge to set myself, but I believed I could do it and a lot of people helped me make it a reality. Thanks to them it's something I'll never forget."

photo c/o Goshi Osada, all rights reserved
text © 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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