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Trail run in Okutama

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I should probably spend more time actually hiking/running and less time sitting at home plotting past hikes and runs on GoogleEarth, but it has been raining all day today, so our plans to go for a half-day trail run were postponed. Last week we did get out though on Wednesday morning. Starting from Musashiitsukaichi station, across Hinode and Mitake, and down to Kori station. I haven't figured out how to find the distance of paths plotted on Google Earth yet, so I don't know exactly how long it was, but a portion of it followed the same path as the Japan Sangaku Taikyu Race, which is a 72km race through Okutama that must be completed in 24 hours. According to this, from our start to Mitake was 14km (we started at the end of the race route, and Mitake is the fourth point from the right - 929m).

I have to say that it did not feel like 14+km - usually I become so bored of running after about an hour. Running in the mountains though is nothing like running in the city. I think I have found a newhobby. Perhaps I will join the race next year.

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If I do, at least I know that there are *many* trails for me to train on without getting bored. I never realized, until this year, how great Okutama is. It is so close to Tokyo, and there are hundreds of trails. It will take several years to cover them all - especially since we have already hiked many of those close to the train stations. To get to the more remote trails takes either an extra day along previously hiked trails, or taking an expensive bus to a different trail-head. Of course, we covered all these (the red trails) after the leaves had fallen, so hiking them again next year will be just like a new experience.

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