The Story Behind The Run

We always have self-doubt if you are a high achiever because when we try to go to the next level and there is thought we are not good enough, but that’s okay because that means we are hungry and we are committed to elevating ourselves..

By Jeff

Mt. Fuji International Marathon

Prior to the race, we have actually been travelling around and went sightseeing in other parts of the cities in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. There was not a single day where we rested our legs as we wished to cover our planned itineraries. This may sound insane but we really enjoyed it.

After bidding farewell to one of our runner friend who was returning to Singapore, we parted at Kyoto station, where the rest of us boarded the east bound Shinkansen to Shizuoka (Mishima). We took an additional 1-hour coach ride to Kawaguchiko, where we checked in to our hotel and planned for the race entry pack collection on the following day. The weather was rather unfavourable on the day of our arrival. It was drizzling and temperature was approximately 10°C. All of us were freezing cold.

On the next morning, we left our hotel early for breakfast around the race pack entry collection point located beside Kawaguchi Lake, which was also the flag off point on race day. REPC could only commenced at 1pm. There was slight drizzling and the site was filled with runners from different parts of the world. The total number of participants came up to 11,000 which included the marathon distance and charity fun run of 12km. There were designated tents for local and foreign runners to ease the clearance process. REPC clearance was quite smooth although there were queues, partly because of the drizzle. We headed back to our hotel to rest as soon as we were done with our REPC.

On race day, the weather changed for a better. The sky was no longer as foggy as the day on our arrival. Temperature was still cold at approximately 12°C in the early morning. Based on the weather forecast, the day was cloudy with morning shower and temperature ranged from 15°C – 21°C. We were well attired with adequate clothing with ponchos while waiting for the flag off.

Opening ceremony commenced at 8:45am with some small fireworks followed by the official flag off at 9am sharp. I was merely 5 minutes behind gun time after crossing the first timing mat. Overwhelming public supporters lined up at the side of the route, cheering for all of us. The first 8km of the course was rather hilly and rolling. The first hydration point was located at 5.6km mark and more hydration points were subsequently stationed at every 3 – 4km interval. I was always on a constant lookout for Mt. Fuji and only managed to catch the first glimpse at around 6 – 7km mark. However, majority part of the snow cap was still covered under clouds, hence there was nothing much we could see.

The real challenge finally came at around 22km mark where elevation continued to rise for approximately 2km and maintained relatively hilly before it dropped from 34 – 37km and went relatively flat till the finishing line. The entire route was absolutely stunning and scenic, with maple trees in lovely autumn setting, just like a piece of landscape drawing. My objective and expectation for this race was very simple. That was to run slow and steady while embracing myself in the beautiful autumn, watching the magnificent Mt. Fuji and taking lots of pictures without missing the race cut off time of 6 hours. I finally did it once again.

It was a double bling victory over a short 10 days “runcation” on the Land of The Rising Sun. If you are to ask whether I will return to Japan next year? And YES…I definitely will!!

My Kobe marathon story

Jeff Cheong  (@my_dr3am_ca7ch3r)

Runner, Singapore

November 2019

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