Shiga Kogen Mountain Trail Run
Not to be mistaken with the Shiga Kogen Extreme Trail Run taking place in October, the Shiga Kogen Mountain Trail Run is held in mid-July and incudes two races: a longer 40km course and short 14.8km course. An even shorter 1 to 3km children’s race also takes place on the same day. Races start and finish in the central Ichinose area of Shiga Kogen, making the event easy to get to and from using public transport.
Registration for the races is open from mid to late-February until mid-June (or until capacity is reached). Events are capped at: 40km / 600 participants; 14.8km / 300 participants; and kids 1-3km / 200 participants. On the day of the main races, runners in the 54km event depart at 05:00, followed by 32km runners at 08:00 and 8km runners at 13:00. On the day of the main races, runners in the 40km event depart at 09:00, followed by 14.8km runners at 13:00. Children participating in the 1 to 3km event start at 10:30.
These are serious alpine races attracting both professional and semi-professional athletes. Running across mixed terrain and unsealed tracks, participants need to be of very high fitness. The running community is friendly and welcoming and will always put on events including BBQs before, during and after the races. An award ceremony will also take place following the conclusion of events.
Staying at one of Shiga Kogen’s many hotels is a great way to participate or simply watch the races including some well-earned recuperation afterward.