This weekend (August 31st) Chris, our Operations Manager, will take to the streets of Sapporo for the Hokkaido Marathon. Read his interview here and guess his finishing win free ski lessons with GoSnow this Winter.

Chris is our Operations Manager. While he spends his Winters trying to sneak out onto the mountain on his snowboard, he passes time in the Summer by running. A long way. We asked him a few questions (like...why?!) and thought we'd share the results with you.

He is running the Hokkaido Marathon this weekend (Sunday, August 31st) in Sapporo - have a go at guessing his time and the closest person will win free ski lessons with GoSnow this Winter, courtesy of Niseko Central!

Niseko Central: So Chris, let's get the important question out of the way first...why? Why on earth do you want to run such a long way? Summer in Niseko is all about BBQs and cycling, don't you know?!

Chris: Haha, yes that's a valid point. Don't worry, I still find time for the odd BBQ and I'm proud to be one of the few cyclists in Niseko with a basket on my bike! As for running, it's something I've always enjoyed. I ran a lot at school and university...basically until I discovered beer at which point my running career tailed off pretty quickly!

HTH: But you're running now?

Chris: Yes, I'm in phase 2 I think! Phase 1 was fast and serious. I started running again when I moved to Japan back in 2004, although I didn't really get back into it until around 2008. I ran a 10k, then a couple of half-marathons and then a marathon in early 2009 down in Anjo Town in Aichi.

HTH: How did you do?

Chris: Ummm, actually I won.

HTH: You won? A marathon?

Chris: Yeah, but it wasn't serious. It was a city marathon and I had to stop for traffic! I did run the JAL Chitose Marathon though a few months later up in Hokkaido. I didn't win, but went under 3 hours again so was pretty chuffed!

HTH: I'm sure! Have you done any since then?

Chris: I moved back to the UK in 2009 with my wife and we had our first child in 2010. I did the Edinburgh Marathon in 2011 and Manchester Marathon in 2012, finishing just over 3 hours for both of them. Both were absolutely brutal.

HTH: Isn't every marathon brutal?

Chris: Haha of course, but it can be worse than just running 42km. Edinburgh was so windy that it felt like I was walking the final 10km. Manchester had everything you'd expect in Manchester in May...windy, rain, hail and even a bit of snow.

HTH: So you moved back to Japan to get better weather then!

Chris: Indeed! I actually ran the Hokkaido Marathon last year, but just after moving to Niseko from Tokyo and just after having our second child. Training was not the number 1 priority and I struggled round in just under 4 hours. That said, this year I've got some training in thanks to having a very understanding wife. Running in Niseko is pretty hilly, but really beautiful and not too hot (most of the time)!

HTH: Hmmm, I'm not sure you've answered my first question...why?!

Chris: To be honest, it's how I zone out and relax. Out on the road, with only the sound of my feet (HTH: Chris look very disapproving when we talked about running with music!) to keep me company, things go in and out of my mind and it feels like a bit of Spring cleaning in a way! I'm probably not making much be honest, if you want to find out why, just read Haruki Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running". He's got a better way with words than me!

HTH: So what's the aim this Sunday?

Chris: The same as always...finish without walking! And I'd love to beat Jess Ripper's marathon time that he did at the end of his Ironman Triathlon yesterday!

Chris's Vital Stats

  • Age: 34
  • Running Shoe Colour: Red
  • Personal Best: 2:42 (2009)
  • Most Recent Time: 3:56 (2013)

The Competition

All you have to do to win free lessons at GoSnow this Winter is comment below with what you think Chris' finishing time will be on Sunday in the 2014 Hokkaido Marathon. The closest answer to his net finishing time will win the choice of:

- 1 day full private ski or snowboard lesson (value of 53,000 yen); or

- 1 day group ski or snowboard lessons for up to 4 Guests (value of 52,000 yen)

Please use the comment box below to guess Chris' time in hours, minutes and seconds! Good luck to everyone (and to Chris too!)