50m 00s
Epic Challenge: A Race Across the Japanese Alps
NHK WORLD PRIME
50m 00s

Broadcast on January 19, 2019
Available until January 19, 2020

The Trans Japan Alps Race is an intense run through the massive mountain ranges that cut across Japan's main island. This 415km ultramarathon, which starts at the Sea of Japan and ends at the Pacific Ocean, is known as the most grueling race in Japan. Competitors must traverse trails across 3 ranges with peaks exceeding 3,000 meters in height, all while carrying packs stuffed with food, clothes, and tents on their backs. In August, 30 runners who passed the stringent selection process competed in a fierce 8-day battle for the goal. Along the way they were plagued by severe weather, extreme fatigue, and even hallucinations. And they receive no awards or prize money for finishing. So what keeps them going? We followed these superhuman athletes who test their mental and physical limits as they competed for glory with the majestic Japan Alps beneath their feet.