The Sandman to take on Mount Fuji

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Just when you thought Ryan Sandes had taken on every type of trail run he could find, he managed to find something entirely new! Enter The Ultra Trail Mount Fuji – a 168km trail run envisaged by Japanese Ultra Runner Tsuyoshi Kaburaki after he raced the Ultra-Trail Mont-Blanc and wanted to bring a run with the same spirit to Japan. So what makes this race different to any others that Ryan has run? For one thing, each competitor is strongly advised to carry a Bear Bell with them as the chance of running into a bear is a very real possibility, and the aid stations are not your average one – instead of your standard gels, powders, bananas etc on offer, you get to experience Japanese cuisine in the form of miso soup and special sushi balls!

“I’m really excited to be travelling to Japan to run the Ultra Trail Mont Fuji. It is my first visit to Japan and I am looking forward to exploring this beautiful country,” says Ryan. “I’m in a really good space with my trail running at the moment and can’t wait to start the UTMF. My training has been going well and I am recovering well from the Drakensberg Grand Traverse. It is going to be a huge challenge with a super competitive field but I am sure it’s going to be an unforgettable experience.”

At 3pm local time on Friday 25 April in Yagizaki Park in Fuji-Kawaguchi-ko Town in Yamanashi Prefecture, just over 1200 runners will take on the 168km course that circulates around Mount Fuji with more than 9500m of cumulative altitude gain. The maximum time allowed to complete the course is 46hours. Since its inception only a few short years ago, the race has become Asia’s number 1 and most challenging 100-miler, achieving exactly what Tsuyoshi Kaburaki set out to create. The 2013 race was won by local Japanese runner Yoshikazu Hara in a time of 19hrs39min48sec, second place went to Julien Chorier of France in 19hrs48min28sec and third place to Sebastien Chaigneau also from France in 19hrs50min13sec.

For more information about the race visit – or follow Ryan’s facebook page and Twitter account @RyanSandes.

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