Part 3. Team “KIZUNA” Is Born

Anyone can FLASH-CLICK a desert 250km marathon, but running a race is a completely different story.

(“FLASH-CLICK” means to randomly register to races in a flash before thinking about the consequences)

After July 2011 when Kuro and Shin registered for the Sahara Desert 250km to be held in three months,

I gave them various training menus, with a few pranks included, since I was the only one with actual desert race experience.

Kuro: “Hey, Hiro, I am thinking about climbing up Mount Fuji from station No.5.”

Me: “Are you serious? The race I did is like racing all the way from the bottom to the top of Mount Fuji! You should be doing the same thing, Kuro.”


Kuro: “Are you nuts?! I did it, all the way from the bottom to the very top of Mount Fuji! When I reached the top it was midnight! I was so scared!”

Me: (This guy’s got guts! And he’s really crazy!)

Shin: “Hiro, I want to look for a pair of shoes for the desert. Would you come with me?”

Me: “OK, but let’s run the “Okutama 99km Eco Journey Race” which is in 2 weeks. You definitely should experience a race longer than a full marathon.”

It was way past the entry deadline date, but I called the race office right away.

Me: “Hello? I am one of the runners of your upcoming race. There is a friend of mine who is insisting he wants to run….”

And together, from dawn till night, we ran the “Okutama 99km Eco Journey” – which actually turned out to be a 106km race according to the GPS.

Me: (This guy’s got guts too! Interesting!!)

Me: “Shin, Kuro. I registered for the “North Okhotsk 100km Marathon”. You guys should join too. I am going to wear a cow costume.”

Shin and Kuro: “Sure thing! Let’s go!!!”


Through these kinds of pranks, our running ability and mentality were strengthened.

Then came the Sahara Desert 250km challenge on October 2011.

The race where I was blown away by the champion Italian team, “Desert Runners”.

* For details, please check these articles (only in Japanese)

Gobi Desert 250km

Sahara Desert 250km

Thanks to our intense training, Kuro and Shin were able to safely finish their first desert race, Sahara 250km,

But they didn’t stop. Their challenge got even higher.


Through experiences like “Finishing a 100km Marathon with all three in costumes”, we continued to develop our running abilities. Also, we were able to understand each other’s running abilities, style and characters.

Then one day.

“I am looking for another challenging race!”

“OK, how about the “Atacama Desert 2013″? Shall we FLASH-CLICK right here, right now?”



“Hey, let’s run as a team. This way we might even be able to become world champion!”

Getting carried away as usual, the three of us completed the team race registration for March 2013′s Atacama Desert Race.

Which is just the beginning of this blog’s main topic – Team KIZUNA’s challenge to become No.1 in the world in the Atacama Desert 250km Marathon.

(Continue to Part 4)