I was invited to participate in Fujiyoshida Hi-matsuri ( fire festival ) race as a top female local Guam International Marathon finisher in 2014. Before I went, I had a difficulty finding details about the race on websites. There are half marathon, 10k, 5k and 3.5k distances.
I ran, or more correctly, climbed the half marathon. I definitely over ate and over indulged in alcohol the night before. This wasn’t going to be a serious race for me so I enjoyed my food and drinks. The half marathon didn’t start until almost noon and it was in mid-August. It was a new experience with a race that started in the middle of a hot day. I’m glad I didn’t have the opportunity to look at the elevation chart before the race. I knew I was going to be climbing up some parts of Mt. Fuji but it was more brutal than expected.
I survived what seemed like an endless twists and turns and stretches of hills for about first 6-7 miles. Then the course went all the way down until the last 2 miles of rolling hills and finish at the track. I finished 1: 50-something. This was the most difficult half marathon I’d ever ran. I was really impressed by a lot of runners there; they were very strong and efficient going up the hills. The volunteers at water stations were awesome. They gave us cold and fresh water from Mt. Fuji and it was delicious!