Weekend of “Emotional Discovery” Begins: Top Runners Share Their Thoughts Ahead of Mt. FUJI 100

The 10th edition of the Mt. FUJI 100 (formerly known as ULTRA-TRAIL Mt. FUJI) is about to take place on April 26 (Friday) and 27 (Saturday). A total of 3,400 runners will participate in two races: the "FUJI100mi", spanning a distance of 166.6 km with a cumulative elevation gain of 7,039 m, and the "KAI70k", which covers the latter half of the FUJI100mi course, with a distance of 69.4 km and a cumulative elevation gain of 3,493 m. The event will be an international one, with 450 runners from 34 countries and regions around the world.

On Thursday afternoon, April 25, just 12 hours before the start of the FUJI100mi, a presentation featuring top runners was held under the clear blue sky and view of magnificent Mt. Fuji, at Fuji Hokuroku Park. Here are some comments from elite athletes:

Takashi Doi, who finished second in the 100-mile race at this event in 2022: "This will be my sixth time participating in the event. Although people around me have told me to talk about big goals, I just want to run my own race as usual."

Guomin Deng (CHN), who finished 10th in this event in 2018: "It's been six years since I ran Mt. Fuji, and I think I've grown as a runner. I'll do my best to achieve a good result."

Stephanie Howe (USA), the 2014 Western States champion: "Through Mt. FUJI 100, I'm looking forward to experiencing Japanese culture and interacting with the local people. Of course, I'm also excited to run while enjoying the beautiful views of Mt. Fuji."

Yuya Kawasaki, who finished second in this event last year: "I want to face my physical condition and run hard when I can, endure when I need to, and run my own race."

John Ray "Stinglay" Onifa (PHI), who lives in Hong Kong and finished 5th in STY in 2018: "In this race, I want to have a strong mind and keep moving forward. Of course, I also want to enjoy the magnificent views of Mt. Fuji during the day."

Kento Tamura, who won the KAI70k last year: "This will be my first time running a 100-mile race, and to be honest, I don't know what will happen. I want to face myself on the course and make it to the finish line."

Goshi Osada, a top contender for the men's title in the KAI70k: "My goal is to win. I want to aim for a world-class result and run an aggressive race."

Andreu Simon Aymerich (ESP), who won the Transgrancanaria Classic in 2022: "It was my dream to come to Japan. I was planning to run the 100-mile race, but due to a knee injury, I changed to the 70km race. I'll do my best."

Chizuru Ofuchi, who finished third in the FUJI100 Mile last year: "I want to enjoy running as usual. My rival is myself."

Nicole Bitter (USA), who finished second in the Bandera 100k in 2023: "When I run ultra-trail races, I prioritize enjoying the experience. I look forward to having new experiences and enjoying running while looking at Mt. Fuji."

Courtney Dauwalter (USA), the 2018 UTMF champion who won the Western States, Hardrock 100, and UTMB in succession in 2023: "I had a wonderful experience at Mt. Fuji in 2018, and since then, I've been determined to come back. This time, my goals are to give my all until the end and to celebrate the event with everyone at the finish line."

Yuri Yoshizumi, who is currently on a five-year winning streak in the Mt. Fuji Ascent Race: "When I encountered trail running and became an independent professional athlete, I moved to Fujiyoshida in search of a training environment. I'm happy to run a race in a place I love."

As a representative international trail running event in Japan, the areas around Mt. Fuji will welcome trail runners and their families from 34 countries and regions around the world, serving as the stage for the event's subtitle, "Emotional Discovery."