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Me and RUSH and 100 miles | Race report extra edition (Takuya Wakaoka)
2023.04.01 REPORT RUN

Me and RUSH and 100 miles | Race report extra edition (Takuya Wakaoka)

The new RUSH series will finally be released in mid-April 2023. A race report has arrived from Takuya Wakaoka, a RUSH runner who participated in the "Kumagawa Revival Trail" held on March 11-12, 2023, carrying the RUSH 11R!

What was needed more than careful preparation was forgetfulness

Photo courtesy of: Kumagawa Revival Trail Competition Executive Committee

Running races are cruel. The result is decided before it even begins. 90% ready. In the actual performance, I just proceeded with what I had prepared.

how much you train do you want to get in shape? Do you want your equipment to suit you? It is a match until the moment when the start is made. In that sense, the 100 miles of the "Kumagawa Revival Trail" was a disaster. Training is good enough. In the cold season, I used to tend to skip, but I was able to run constantly with the goal of 100 miles.

There are two remaining issues. His forgetful personality became his enemy. My physical condition itself wasn't that bad, but I remembered just before. I have hay fever. In the last few years, the pollen count was so low that I completely forgot about it. It is the season when cedars become hated. Running through the cedar forest at this time of year is like imposing a terrible penance on yourself.

On March 11th, when the event was held, cedar pollen was scattered in large numbers, which is a level that occurs once every ten years. The face is miserable. My eyes are itchy and I can't open them. A runny nose flows like a waterfall. The back of my throat is itchy, and I'm mentally sick.

It is no longer a colander. In addition, the equipment is full of holes. I forgot a trail running pole, a soft flask, and supplements. I was embarrassed to prepare carefully. I arrived just before the tournament and stayed in the Kuma River basin for a week before the tournament so as not to panic.

I was surprised at my carelessness when I checked the equipment just before. But there's nothing you can do about what's missing. Paul, the supplement is not a must-have, so it's through. I will do my best on my own feet. PET bottles instead of soft flasks. It is my favorite "Irohas". You can't get through 100 miles if you're shaken by an accident like this. As long as you forget a little problem.

Photo courtesy of Kenichi Hidaka

Kuma River Revival Trail : The first 100-mile race in the Kyushu area that follows the Kuma River from its original basin to its mouth. It was planned as a project aimed at recovery from the heavy rain disaster that hit the Kuma River basin in 2020. The Kumagawa course boasts a total length of 172 kilometers and an elevation gain of over 9,000 meters. Yatsushiro City, Itsuki Village, Yamae Village, Kuma Village, and Mizukami Village's special aid stations, lending GPS terminals "IBUKI" to all athletes, participation prizes filled with specialties from each municipality, government and private sector. It is also known for its extensive support, such as thorough safety management in cooperation with groups. Through a trail journey that sees the beginning and end of the Kuma River from its headwaters to its mouth, we will reconsider the relationship between people and nature and support the reconstruction of the disaster area.

Running while feeling the strength of nature and the enthusiasm of the race officials

Photo courtesy of: Kumagawa Revival Trail Competition Executive Committee

After starting, I will stick to my own pace. The two runners, Seita Handa, who ran the top from the beginning, and Yuichi Miura, the 2018 Hasetsune champion, were seen off early, and while watching RUSH runner Naoki Tsukuda nearby, they traced the mountains of Kyushu.

Even if you live in Kyushu, it is a mountain area that you cannot easily enter. It is a watershed that stretches north and south like a backbone, and is a deep mountain.

And because of the watershed, there are few water places, so it is not easy to traverse in one go.

You can follow such a course right after the start. Happy first half. A fluffy trail covered with fallen leaves. A natural forest dotted with fallen trees and giant trees covered in moss. Run through the scenery that makes you want to stop your feet.

From the middle stage, you can feel the changes in the course layout. Two years ago, I was asked by the competition to run a test run, so I was keenly aware of the changes. The road from A3 with a drop bag is shortened and goes straight up. A new trail section was created. And it was a tougher climb than I expected.

Elevation difference of the course ( from the Kumagawa Revival Trail website )

The road section that collapsed due to heavy rain was detoured and the mountain part was added. I knew that this was a route that had been developed from scratch, partly because I was helping with course maintenance just before the race. It's an area that many runners pass through at night, and in the dark you wouldn't realize there was no trail until recently.

Well, it's a clean cut for 10km. There was a passion to make the tournament a success. Including the aid and warm support on the course, it's a blessing. Because I was in good shape in the first half, I stalled at about 110-120km. Although he dropped one position, he was driven by this heat and continued to advance. Just like the name of the event, “Revival,” which aims to help people recover from flood damage, runners will also be revived.

Photo courtesy of: Kumagawa Revival Trail Competition Executive Committee

Eat spice curry and pot-au-feu at the last aid. Even if you are not starving after running 150km, it is excellent. Last year, when I was participating as a staff member, I secretly grabbed a bite to eat, and decided to come and eat as a runner next time.

Hunger is the best spice. There's no reason why it's not delicious. Completed in no time. Thank you for the meal. I'm seriously at a loss as to whether to refill. It seems that an acquaintance was watching that moment, and later, I was told that I had a rare serious expression. I feel like I'm going to be satisfied and retire when I get another second, so I raise my hips with a broken heart. It may be extra delicious because you can only eat it once a year.

I managed to reach the goal while falling asleep while moving with a feeling of fullness. Once you finish the run, you will forget how tough it was. I live my life forgetting many things. However, let's prepare well next time. Reflecting on it, I vowed, but I don't have the confidence to remember it until the next time. I'm sure you will remember what you forgot in the next race and reflect again.

RUSH 11R like a friendly partner

Photo courtesy of Kenichi Hidaka

The capacity of the front pocket has increased, and it has become possible to carry a lot of action food. I'm saved. On the other hand, cereal bars and gel bags hit my arms. Don't put too much. I should have dropped the corners of the package.

As mentioned above, I forgot the soft flask and used a plastic bottle. It's a sensory thing, but there's less pressure than when I was in UT, and it fits well. I'm glad I was able to accidentally try a plastic bottle. Thanks to the power of oblivion.

I regretted forgetting the trailer pole. Every time I went up a steep climb, I thought I would be more comfortable with poles. I still don't have enough training.

On the downhill forest road, I felt comfortable running through. Zack's shaking is barely felt. By pulling the drawcord in the side pocket, it can be attached to the body.

If you squeeze it a little tight, the sense of unity with the rucksack will increase. After finishing the descent, when the road becomes flat, loosen the cord a little and the tension will melt away. It was also a switch to change my feelings.

100 miles is too long to stay tense and focused all the time. It's better to keep your feelings sharp. I don't know if it was intentionally produced, but it was effective to change Zack's hold feeling in terms of being conscious of on and off in an easy-to-understand manner.

The big change from the UT series is the fit around the shoulder. The material has become softer, making it even more comfortable to carry. Blends into your skin like an old friend. If it hits the skin for a short time, it doesn't matter so much, and it may seem like a small difference. However, like a 100 mile race, if you carry it on your back for a long time, it will make a big difference.

If you're going on a long trip, it's better to go with a good friend. If the relationship between differences is awkward, friction may arise and trouble may occur later. It is important to be able to build a close relationship.

In that respect, 11R was supple and fitted immediately. It looks like it's going to be a buddy who will spend a lot of time together from now on.