Trans Japan Alps Race
|Trans Japan Alps Race|
|Location||Toyama - Shizuoka, Japan|
|Event type||Ultramarathon trail run|
|Distance||415 km (258 miles)|
elevation 26,662 m
|Course records||5 days 5 hours 22 min (2010)|
Trans Japan Alps Race (TJAR) is a 415 km ultramarathon with a total elevation gain of 26,662 m  that takes place on trails in the Japanese Alps mountains. It has been held every other year since 2002 and is known as one of the most demanding trail races in Japan.
No award money is provided. Competitors are required to self-support including water and food, and they sleep in bivouac shelter which they carry. Because of the demanding nature of the race and small number (20-30) of allowed competitors, the qualifying standard is higher than that of other races held in Japan. The major reason for dropping out the race is hypothermia due to severe wind and rain in the high altitude mountain region. As participants are required to speak Japanese, no international competitor has run the race as of 2014.
The race starts at Toyama Bay in Sea of Japan at midnight and ends at Suruga Bay in the Pacific Ocean. Runners must cross three Japanese Alps, Hida Mountains, the Kiso Mountains and the Akaishi Mountains. It is regarded as one of the most demanding trail races in Japan. Majority of competitors suffer hallucination due to stress and lack of sleep. Participants who cannot finish the race within 8 days are disqualified.
(Excerpt) Participants are required to go through 3 check points and finish within 8 days without using any transportation/devices other than their own feet. During the race, use of camping facility is prohibited and competitors use bivouac shelter to sleep, though participants are allowed to stay in some designated huts in a designated time range. Water and foods are provided at designated sites. Aid from friends/family/team is prohibited except for at one check point. Having accompanying (escort, guide) runners is prohibited. The participants can drop one bag (<7 kg) at the start, and receive it at a designated check point. Respect to nature and others comes first. Throwing materials in the race is prohibited. Violation of any rules will result in disqualification.
A maximum of around 30 participants who have passed the qualifying standards set by the TJAR committee are allowed to run the race. The requirements include an experience of camping more than 10 days at altitudes over 2,000m, experience of bivouacking more than 4 times at altitudes over 2,000m after more than 15 hours of trailing, experience of finishing trail race over 70 km, full marathon time of 3:20 or less or 100 km time of 10:30 or less, ability of risk management and emergency measures in mountains, Japanese language ability sufficient to communicate, a medical certificate, and a mountaineering insurance that preferably includes death benefit. If the number of applications which satisfy all the requirements exceeds the limit, the committee selects more experienced applicants with more serious training.
The location of each competitor is tracked by the GPS device and is shown online during the race.
The race does not offer any prize money for winners.
The official sponsor of the race is The North Face.
- 2002: 1 finished out of 4 participants. Winner: Mikio Iwase
- 2004: 6 finished out of 9 participants. Winner: Masato Tanaka
- 2006: 2 finished out of 6 participants. Winner: Chigaya Mase
- 2008: 15 finished out of 20 participants. Winner: Masato Tanaka
- 2010: 15 finished out of 23 participants. Winner: Mochizuki Shougo (5 days 5 hours 22 minutes, current race record)
- 2012: 18 finished out of 28 participants. Winner: Mochizuki Shougo. The documentary program of this race was broadcast by Japanese TV NHK
- 2014: 15 finished out of 30 participants. Winner: Mochizuki Shougo (5 days 12 hours 57 min). Time limit was extended by 3 hours due to Typhoon.
- Trail Running magazine No.11 (トレイルランニングマガジン) (エイムック 2480), p7, 2012, ISBN 4777925196
- "Gekisou! Nihon Alps Daijuudan Micchaku Trans Japan Alps Race". By NHK Special Shuzaihan. ISBN 4087815277
- TJAR official home page
- "TJAR2014 参加要件 | お知らせ | トランスジャパンアルプスレース 2012 | Trans Japan Alps Race 2012". tjar.jp. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
- Information of the documentary on NHK website