[DC] Yoshikazu Hara 2014 Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji pre race interview

Yoshikazu Hara () has speedy legs and runs 100k in 6:33. Japanese favorite champion of last year’s Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji (UTMF) will run with runners from the world. In our with Hara-san, he says he is “99%” healthy since he canceled Tarawera Ultramarathon in March with hip injury.

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優勝した2013年のUTMFで終盤の富士小学校のエイドにトップでやってきた原良和さん。シューズはHOKA One One / Bondi Speed。Photo by Koichi Iwasa / DogsorCaravan.com

Yoshikazu Hara, is winning 2013 UTMF with his HOKA One One / Bondi Speed。Photo by Koichi Iwasa / DogsorCaravan.com

D/C: You will come up to Kawaguchiko on Thursday. How are you feeling? You did not start Tarawera Ultramarathon in March due to hip injury. Getting healthy since then?

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Hara: I have no worry on my hip. 99% recovered, though not perfect. In March, I could not running enough miles to build up my fitness for UTMF. I was a bit nervous not to get another injury during my preparetion for the big race in the end of April.

D/C: We have dozens of talented elites from the world. I talked to them and they said how you are doing, and are happy to run with you. Do you have any plan to race with them?

Hara: Well, UTMF is 169km, a bit longer than last year. I am wondering why race says finish time is not very different, or even shorter than last year. How can we run that fast? I know such explanatiion does not help us at all, though. (laugh)

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D/C: You run keeping behind the leaders, and pushed hard yourself in later half in UTMF last year, the race you win.

Yoshikazu Hara with Sage Canaday, winner of 2014 Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand. Photo courtesy of Yoshikazu Hara.

Yoshikazu Hara with , winner of 2014 Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand. Photo courtesy of Yoshikazu Hara.

Hara: Yes, I will avoid leading the race in early miles again this weekend. If I lead at A7/Kodomonokuni(80.5km), I will blow up after that. The key is how hard I can push myself from A7 to A8/Nishifuji(104.4km).

D/C: The course turned its direction from last year. Clockwise route has Tenshi Mountains in later half, tons of steep ascents and descents.

Hara: Well, I am not very nervous on direction. Just different direction, terrain is identical. Tenshi is difficult part for everyone. I will focus to run (from A7) to A8, where easy runnable descent leads to trailhead of Tenshi.

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D/C: You sounds pretty cool-headed. No excitement, just waiting the time to toe the line?

Hara: Yeah, later half of course is exactly where my race starts.

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