With temperatures rising after each downpour and plum trees in bloom thoughts turn to getting from out under that kotatsu table and moving zee body. Those looking for some springtime motivation might want to consider one of two picturesque running events, both being held on April 5.
The first is the “Miyajima Marathon”. This is a new event, but the 15km main event is a carbon copy of the course of the long-running Miyajima “Cross Country” organized by the venerable Hiroshima Seniors Running Club.
Starting from in front of Miyajima Junior High School the course runs out along the coast in the opposite direction to Itsukushima Shrine, past Tsusumigaura Beach Park, up and then down a steep winding 1km hill and then another couple of kilometers before turning around and doing the same thing in reverse. It is a challenging course and attention to pacing is highly recommended. There is also a less taxing 5km event. Click here for more details.
April 5 should be around “peak cherry”, so you can both fight the crowds around Itsukushima Shrine and enjoy the quieter (although with some heavy breathing) side of Miyajima. The events is actively appealing for international runners, evidenced by the all English website, dollar entry fees and the enabling of Paypal payment.
Suisen Daffodil Marathon
The other event is up in the north of the prefecture in Shobara at the expansive Bihoku Hillside Park.
The half marathon, 10km and 2km runs are part of their Daffodil Fantasy event when the park’s slopes will be carpeted with thousands upon thousands of daffodils of all varieties – perfect for a flower lover suffering from cherry blossom overload.
The Suisen (daffodil) Marathon can be entered online via Runnet. More details here.