This is the events 2nd year and my first time. I couldn’t register last year as it sold out too fast. This year also maxed out at 3200 riders. I saw only 1 other foreigner in this race but I’m sure there were a few more. It starts in Maebashi city and climbs for 20 KM to the top of Mt. Akagi.
Earlier in the year I raced in Nagano at Utsukushi ga Hara which was another hill climb. (Read that blog). I also entered the Kusatsu Hill Climb at the beginning of the year but the bad weather only allowed for us to race half of it. If I had to compare Utsukushi ga Hara and Akagi Hill Climb I’d say Utsukushi ga Hara was tougher. Besides being a longer race it starts off at about 20% grade for the first 4 KM making you work right from the get go. Akagi Hill Climb is gentle in the beginning, tough in the later middle half and then fairly easy again for the last 2 or 3 KM.
Out of 3200 riders, I placed 281st which puts me in the top 8% (8.78%). For the 40 year olds there were 950 of us and I placed 80th which once again put me in the top 8%. My time was 1:15.34 . The fastest time over all was 58.21 . The fastest time for a 40 ~ 49 year old was a smoken 1:03. I hope good health and good training will put me in the top 5 ~ 6 % next year!!
The race was incredibly well organized and very well run. Rock bands and girls in bikini’s and lots of healthy people! It was a really fun day and a BBQ in the evening outside in a typhoon.