If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting ultrarunner Kuni Yamagata at a race, you’ve also likely met his wife, Daise, a master crew chief. After 47 years of marriage, they are an endurance partnership with a whole lotta love.
From Tokyo’s infamous redlight district to the mid-life heart scare that caused Kuni to take up ultrarunning, their life together has more plot twists than a Hollywood movie.
Jared Beasley sat down with the couple as Kuni, 69, goes for his 5th Hardrock and completion of the Rocky Mountain Slam. If he completes it, he vows he’s giving up ultrarunning. Dasie says she’ll believe it when she sees it.
Hardrock is the spiritual epicenter of my trail running journey. Over the years, I often ran to get a break from being a mom, but in the end it was my boys, each in their own way, that brought me back here.
Most of us have a heartstring race. A run that wraps itself in a fierce knot around your heart and then tugs – gently, but insistently – year after year until you are finally able to participate. For me (Jenn), that race has always and forever been Hardrock.
In 10 days, I’ll be toeing the line at my first Hardrock. This week, we share my decade-long intertwined journey of mountains and motherhood, and how ultimately it was my boys that helped make my heartstring dream come true.
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