Saturday, November 5, 2016

Trail Run Training

Post-announcement first day, a beautiful clear sky but strong north wind that will have Kuratake launch in unflyable leeside rotor all day.  Completely hyper to train, gotta do something long and hardish; how about a 20km trail run through the 'wilds' of Amakusa Lower Island?

Most of the forest section of this circuit is on either trails or semi-abandoned dirt roads, and a pleasure to run.  A section even consists of a historic 'trunk route', a trail that samurai would have used during the Edo Period hundreds of years ago, although there are no in-situ clues or signs recognizing it as such.

Here's the elevation profile.  With a total elevation gain of about 800m, it's not that bad actually, and much of the route is located high up, making for good scenery.

Some of the road section on the way...

Occasional thickets of summer weeds still remain on the trail; their seeds stick to everything, making burdocks seem tame by comparison.  Collectively called 'baka' (stupid) in Japanese, obviously not referring to the seeds themselves but rather to whomever has chosen to approach them!

The steepest section of the tour leads to a mountaintop shrine with a distant view of the sea.  Climbing at 26 meters/minute, my heart rate peaks at 180...

This section is the 'samurai trail'.  It stays high following a long ridge top.  Because of Japan's rugged topography, the easiest transit route was often along the tops of the mountain ridges rather than in the short, steep-sided valleys below.
Leanne tries to chase me down by MTB...most of these other pictures are thanks to her!
A rather pleasant section of trail.

People still live in places like this!
A satisfying bit of exercise!

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