This one's just for the ladies!
There's something magical about being at a made-for-women race. It's a different vibe with the opportunity to celebrate female runners and experience the value of empowering women to run (and pursue fitness). After all, it wasn't too long ago that running was considered a "men's sport"; before the 1980s, there were no women's distance races in the Olympics.
Now, we'd be the first to admit that some events lean towards cringeworthy conventional ideas of what women should be and reinforces gender stereotypes...but women-only races are not only crucial for new runners by providing a "safe space" (literally and metaphorically) for taking on new challenges, they highlight the strength of women - many of who've overcome barriers to entry.
Whether you've just started running or you're a veteran in the sport, learn about these women's races in Japan:
Just like Mt. Fuji or the Great Wave off Kanagawa, sakura cherry blossoms in the spring are quintessentially Japanese. There's no better sign of spring than the soft hues of pink and white that mark the beginning of warmer temperatures and longer days. Perhaps one of the most popular times for visitors to Japan, March and April are also a fantastic time to put on your running shoes or get on the saddle.
Whether it's on your two feet or on two wheels, these three events around Japan are a good way to enjoy sakura season:
Some of us like to go full throttle all the way while others seek feats of endurance...If you're looking for ultras to fill your calendar with, Japan has a wide variety to choose from. That is, if you know where to look.
For those seeking to go the extra mile(s), here are three ultra-distance road and trail races worth taking a look at this spring: