October 31, 2014,15:28 +0900(JST) Osaka Marathon
On October 26, the 4th Osaka Marathon took place.
This year again, the event attracted 30,000 runners, as well as 1.3 million spectators rooting for them along the route, indicating that this marathon has been fully established as a local special event of autumn in Osaka. The number of participants from abroad also increased to 3,200, double from last year, showing that the global profile of this race has been also increasing. Moreover, as a charity function, one of the important aspects of the Osaka Marathon, the event has steadily generated more and more positive results each time. This year, even before the event, the donation amount exceeded 100 million yen. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to all those involved in this event.
On the day of the race, under a fresh autumn sky... This is a phrase that I intended to use for this article, but actually, as of the starting time of 9:00 a.m., it was already 24°C. Although I was just rooting for participants, it was still really hot to me, and I guess the conditions were a little bit tough for runners. This possibly was because the excitement generated by my beloved professional baseball team Hanshin Tigers winning the night before still filled the air.
In the men’s race, Jackson Limo of Kenya, a marathon nation, set a new event record and won the race for the second consecutive year. On the women’s side, Maryna Damantsevich of Belarus won the race.
Meanwhile, in the wheelchair race, Hiroki Nishida finished in 1:29:40 to win the race. This means that in the city of Osaka, which is always crowded with cars, he raced his wheelchair at an average speed of nearly 30 km/h without stopping at any traffic lights.
From Sumitomo Electric, not members of the athletic club, which I often mention in this blog, but many staff members not in the athletic club who simply love running marathons participated in the Osaka Marathon. While some staff came from various parts in Japan, others came from abroad, such as the U.S. and Hong Kong. I’m very impressed to know how much they love running. (Incidentally, my secretary also successfully completed the race, yet the next day was busy working hard as usual, as if nothing special had happened.)
I would like to express my deep respect to those who planned and operated such a huge-scale event; they must have worked extremely hard to make the event successful. Also, I believe that the success of this event would have been impossible without the cooperation of the 10,000 volunteer staff and supporters from among the citizens of Osaka. I would like to once again express my cordial gratitude to everyone involved in this event.