The ‘Heavenly Marathon‘ was held in Norikura Highlands last Sunday, June 29th.
The marathon event began just two years ago, but it is getting popular among runners all over Japan since it is a unique summer marathon. Runners run up to an altitude of 2,700m halfway up Mt. Norikura. More than 1,200 runners entered this year.
It poured last Sunday. So, the course was reduced from 22km (half marathon) to 12km. Runners ran in the severe conditions, getting soaked to the skin. But they enjoyed the event (some of them were even smiling:mrgreen:.)
It is a good and beautiful season to sightsee in Norikura if the weather is not bad. Norikura is famous for snow remaining in summer. There are 6 meter high snow walls on both sides of the road even now.
On August 31st, another big sporting event called “All Japan Norikura Mountain Cycling Race” will be held. It is the most popular bike hill climb race in Japan and 3,500 cyclists will climb up Norikura Highlands.