Friday, December 16, 2016

Kankai Alps Trail Run

The so-called Kankai Alps are a ridge of rugged hills up to 500m high, stretching in a more-or-less straight line along the south-east coast of Amakusa Shimo Island.  A part of the Kyushu Nature Trail, a long-distance trekking route, runs along this crest and every spring Kami-Amakusa City organizes a 26 km trail run here.  As part of my training, I am going to take part in next year's edition of this event, and today seemed as good a day as any to give it a test run.

This is an excellent trail run course, arguably Amakusa's best.  Most of the route follows a well-groomed trail, with a few km of paved road thrown in for good measure.  The views are great from the clifftops and the constant ups and downs, usually equipped with concrete-log stairs, add up to a sufficiently brutal 1800m of rise (and descent!).

Pictures are from 2 years ago, on a much nicer day!

The weather today was windy with low stratocumuli scudding along with the northwest wind, occasional showers, and temperatures in the single digits.  It even snowed once on the ridge top.  Not much else to do on a day like this but go for a long run!  In spite of significant effort the run took me 4h 16m at the end of which I could barely feel my legs.  I was a bit disappointed because I thought I could do it faster, but there can be no complaint from the point of fulfilling my exercise quota for the day!

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