Saturday, September 13, 2014

SFMT 2014 Day 3

Harry and I carried all our stuff onto the car early morning and we drove to Nerima subway station where 3 Avid volunteers would join us at 0700Hr. I grabbed a packet of inari at the 7-11 store for breakfast. It would be a 4 hours drive to Nagano.

(L - R): Yuki, Mariko, Kazumi.
These 3 ladies would be the volunteers who would be waiting for us the aid stations and finish line. A fourth volunteer would link up with us directly at Nagano as he lives around the area.

We were treated to a wonderful view of mountains after mountains along the way.

We reached Nagano at around 1230Hr. After checking in at Hotel Nobel Liyama and had our lunch at a local restaurant, we headed for the race expo!

The race expo was at a ski resort at Madarao Kogen, which would also be our race start line. During the winter, the mountains surrounding it would be covered with snow and it would be crowded by skiers.

Each participant was entitled to one map of the race route.

Scott Jurek was here!!!

I was so excited when I received news before flying over that Scott would be at the race. He would not be participating but would be a supporter at the aid stations, cheering for every runner.

How could I miss out the chance to have his autograph?!!! I brought "Eat and Run" and "Born to Run" along for this trip just for his signature!

Woohoooooo .. !! .. :)

Eat and Run.

Born to Run.

The ladies also queued up for Scott's signature.

Harry and Pauline had helped translated the book "Eat and Run" into Japanese. Here, Scott met Harry for the first time.

The start line right by the side of the ski resort.

A photo with my BIB at the start line. In the background is Mount Madarao, one of the five mountains and which we would run through.

Meeting old friends. I had met Yuji and Jun when I went for STY 2012. Both of them were volunteers under Avid Adventures.

While waiting for the vehicle back to our hotel, Yuki spent the time sketching out what she had for lunch. She was a professional illustrator!


Photo from Avid Adventure

We had our race briefing back at the hotel. Haruki, one of the volunteers, had completed the race twice. He had prepared photos of different sections of the race and showed them to us while telling us what were the things to take note of.

Photo from Avid Adventure
He told us about a stretch along the river right after aid station 3A where there would be no shade so it may get very hot. He also highlighted about the highest mountain which we would pass through, the last major ascend of the race which also fall in the last section just before the finish line.

Dinner time!!!

We were joined by the other runners who also signed up under Avid Adventures. They were from Hong Kong and Japan.

Photo from Avid Adventure

Shabu shabu!!

After dinner, it was packing time.

This was the event top given to all runners (front and back).

Each runner has two BIBs. The large race route map was not a mandatory item. I would keep it for memories sake.

The bag was for our drop bag at aid station 5A.

This was the nutrition I prepared for the race. Hammer Nutrition Perpeteum and Recoverite powder packed according to the different aid stations. Gu Roctace gel. SoyJoy bars. Kit Kat. NUUN. Electrolyte sweets. Packets of dried raisins mixed with dried mango.

1) Ultimate Direction Peter Bakwin hydration bag
2) Ultimate Direction 26oz (740ml) water bottle x 2
3) Hydrapak 750ml softflask
4) The North Face Triumph waterproof jacket
5) Arc'teryx Phase SL Crew Long Sleeve base layer
6) The North Face Rocket beanie
7) Black Diamond Storm (160 lumens) headlight x 2. Silva Tyto red blinking light x 1. All with an extra set of batteries.
8) Powermonkey Explorer external charger for GPS watch
9) Garmin Forerunner Fenix GPS watch
10) Mini gorilla pod
11) Emergency blanket
12) Bodyglide
13) First aid kit with elastic bandage
14) Spare batteries and SD card for camera
15) Nutrition
16) RoadID
17) Sea To Summit 500ml collapsable cup
18) Extra contact lenses with eye drop
19) Petzl E+Lite
20) Shades

This race was a little tricky. There was no mandatory kit list. None was given. There was also no gear check. I used my past race experiences and brought along what I thought I would need for such a race. You bring what you would need. If you need some item out there in the middle of the course and you realised you did not have it, you had nobody to blame but yourself.

No trekking poles were allowed for the race.

The next morning, I added my bear bell into the bag.

Official drop bag items for aid station 5A at 66km.

All packed according to their type: running gear, nutrition, others.

I bought a box of big juicy grapes on the way from the race expo. I was eating them as I packed my stuff. Very delicious! A way to calm myself down. Hahaha .. :)

Yah .. I still did felt nervous the night before a race. :)

All done.

Time to sleep.

May good light shine upon the path of all who would stand behind the starting line tomorrow at Madarao Kogen.

Keep calm. Be yourself.

Just be yourself. ;)

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