The Mt. Fuji International Marathon, also known as Fujisan Marathon, is an annual running event held at Kawaguchi, Fuji in Japan. It was my third full marathon and my second outside the country. It was also my first time to run in the cold.
Check out my Youtube video below:
The weather was challenging because it was around 8°C – 11°C plus it was raining. My shoes and gloves were already wet even before the race started. I wasn’t used to running in the cold weather and my biggest challenge was the need to pee frequently. Thank God for portalets in every water station LOL
The race course was very scenic and I stopped to take photos and videos along the route. It was breath-taking! Mt. Fuji slowly started to appear about halfway through the run.
The course had several climbs but the most painful one was after 21km and it really killed the momentum.
There were hydration stations in every 3-4 km. Our wristbands worked as a guide on where the next stations were going to be. Most of the stations had food like chocolates, cookies and bananas. On the last few stations, soup and mini tomatoes were served.
They were pretty strict with the cut-off times. I heard about other runners who got pulled out or their race bibs were taken off for not making it before the cut-off.
The highest mileage I ran during my training was only 25km without any uphill runs (not a good idea!). So I was already dying on that uphill climb after 21km. LOL I started walking and stretching every 2km thereafter. What helped me survive the marathon and still finished a sub 5:30 were my strength training sessions with Coach Junery Andales (SMEXY Coaching).
It was a great experience and I really enjoyed the race. I literally cried when I made it to the finish line and saw my friends who were waiting. I was freezing (still wet with sweat and the cold wind never stopped blowing) and exhausted (plus limping). My big mistake was that I missed to bring and check-in my dry clothes at the tent. We walked to the bus station and rode a bus to our hotel with my running clothes still wet. I was shivering for at least 30-45 minutes. Lesson learned!