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RUN247 / Race Previews / WATCH AGAIN as Courtney Dauwalter makes the headlines at Mt. Fuji 100-miler
26-27 Apr 2024
Fujiyoshida
-
Japan

WATCH AGAIN as Courtney Dauwalter makes the headlines at Mt. Fuji 100-miler

All you need to know about the third race of the 2024 Gran Canaria World Trail Majors.
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Race Guide

This is a preview of the race – click here to read all about Courtney Dauwalter’s incredible performance in winning the women’s race and finishing a close third in the overall.

First run in 2012, this will be the 10th edition of what is now the third race of this season’s Gran Canaria World Trail Majors.

It’s the largest trail running race in Japan and takes place on the foothills of the magnificent Mt. Fuji.

It features two races – the FUJI100mi and KAI70k, with 3,400 participants from 34 countries taking part.

The 100-miler has a cumulative elevation gain of 7,039m, while the 70km “KAI70k” has 3,493m and covers the second half of the FUJI100mi course.

The 2016 and 2018 men’s winner Dylan Bowman sums it up as follows: “The unique thing about Mt. Fuji is that it alternates between flat, runnable sections and long, tough climbs and descents.” 

How to watch and follow LIVE

You can watch all the action unfold thanks to the embedded livestream below, which will have English language commentary.

The 100-miler starts at midnight on Thursday night local time, which is 1600BST on Thursday in the UK, 1700CET and 1100 Eastern Standard time.

Live leaderboards / standings will be available as soon as the race begins here and you can track the elite athletes via this page.

Mt. Fuji 100

start list

Click on the links for the full FUJI100mi start lists for men and women.

Notable runners

Route

The early part of the FUJU100mi consists of gentle ups and downs through the lush forests at the first and second stations of Mt. Fuji.

The middle part of the race features a course that connects a variety of landscapes, including the Tenshi Mountains that stretch long and narrow along the western side of Mt. Fuji.

Among them, the Aokigahara Sea of Trees deserves a special mention. Until around 1,200 years ago, there was a large lake named Seno-Umi at the northwestern foot of Mt. Fuji. When Mt. Fuji erupted in 864, the mountain spewed a massive amount of lava which filled most of Seno-Umi. After the vast area of thick lava cooled down, sediment accumulated over it, and over a long period of time trees and plants took root, creating the Aokigahara Sea of Trees. 

But the race gets progressively tougher and after leaving the Yamanakako Aid Station the course goes through long, steep, and tough mountain areas. After running through Mt. Myojin, Mt. Takazasu, Yamabushi Pass, and Mt. Ishiwari one after another, it’s then onto Mt. Shakushi, the final and toughest mountain in the race. 

All of which combines for an impressive 7,039m of climbing.

Analysis

There’s no doubt about the headline name as 2018 champion Courtney Dauwalter (USA) returns for the first time since then.

In the build-up the ultrarunning legend has spoken about looking forward to seeing what she’s learned about running 100-mile races in the intervening six years.

She comes here off the back of a seasonal reappearance win at Transgrancanaria and of course last year saw her notch that unprecedented Western States / Hardrock / UTMB treble.

Up against her and also from the United States is Nicole Bitter, who finished third at Javelina Jundred 100 in 2022 and second at the Bandera 100k last year. 

There will be attention too on Ki Chun Wong (Hong Kong, China), who finished second in the 100km race at last year’s TransLantau by UTMB and seventh in the 100km race at the Hong Kong 100, which kickstarted the World Trail Majors. 

Among the leading home athletes are Chizuru Ofuchi, who finished third in this race last year and Yumi Hosokawa, who was fourth. Yukari Seimiya, who made a splash by winning 110km in Shin-Etsu Five Mountains Trail last year, her first race over 100km, will be taking on her first 100-mile challenge. 

In the men’s FUJI100mile, Andreu Simon Aymerich (Spain), winner of last year’s Transgrancanaria Classic, and Gregoire Curmer (France), who won the 2019 Grand Raid Réunion, will compete from Europe. 

The home challenge is led by Yuya Kawasaki, who finished second in last year’s FUJI100mi and the two men who chased him across the line – Tomonori Onitsuka and Hajime Mamba.

2012
Claire Bannwarth
152:23:00

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Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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