The 15th Hyokkori Notojima Road Race 2012

The city of Nanao is hosting another road race this summer – theHyokkori Notojima Road Race. Set to be held around none other than the beautiful Wakura Onsen, this promises to be just as scenic and rewarding a race as the Wakura Manyo-No-Sato Marathon in March this year.

While it might seem a ridiculous idea to run a race in summer (because we all know how cold summer is in Japan;) , it ain’t so crazy. Whether you’re in need of an excuse to whip yourself into summer shape, or just want to get out and enjoy some local cuisine and onsens with that Hokuriku Pass of yours, this is a great way to do it.

When?

The event itself is on July 1st (Sunday), held in Nanao City, at the 生涯学習センター (Shougai Gakushuu Centre).

Reception of participants will take place on June 31st (Saturday) from 13:30 – 16:30, and on Sunday July 1st from 7:30 – 8:30am.

The Centre is about a 15 minute car ride or 20 minute bus ride from Wakura Onsen station. There will be free shuttle buses operating from the station to the Centre on the day, however.

How?

Applications must be sent in via post office furikomi forms, or you can enter online at runnet.com (or any other Japanese running site) by simply signing up (free and easy) here:

http://runnet.jp/member/regist/kiyaku.html

And going to the race page here, and clicking the blue エントリー button:

http://runnet.jp/runtes/raceDetail/top/m58917.html

All entries must be in by 21st May 2012. Both race events cost Y3000. For online entries, you can choose to pay via convenience store machine, or credit card. Postal entries are cash only.

After your application has been received, you will receive your participant information packet in the mail in mid-June. Please be sure to take all of this with you, as you will need it to sign in at reception on the day.

What?

There are 10km and half marathon (21km) events, both of which seem to start at 9am.

The maximum time for each is 3 hours and 4 hours respectively, with the race courses having some minor inclines and declines. Although rainy weather is predicted for the event day, there are more refreshment and aid stations than usual along both race courses due to the heat.

What’s In It For Me?

Each participant will receive an event T-shirt (size selectable at the time of application), sports drinks, pork miso soup, onigiri, and a discounted onsen ticket after the race.

While the distances may seem too long for a casual summer jog, this is by no means an event for marathon pros. As a participant in the Manyo-No-Sato Marathon, I can attest to just how friendly and extremely supportive the locals of Nanao are to the runners. The local food stalls are also drool-worthy. It really is an awesome vibe! So even if you don’t want to run, it’d be well worth going up to Nanao to join in the support party!

So why not dust off your running shoes, grab yourself that Hokuriku Pass, and stride into summer? And hey, who doesn’t like a free T-shirt? 😛

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