October 19, 2012,10:25 +0900(JST) Osaka Marathon 2012 Warm Up Fun Run!
On September 8 I attended the Osaka Marathon 2012 Warm Up Fun Run! held at Nagai Stadium in Osaka City, as chairperson of the Osaka Marathon organizing committee. This is a preliminary event held to give wide publicity to the 2nd Osaka Marathon scheduled for November 25.
After I delivered opening remarks, about 800 men and women of all ages worked up a good sweat by running Nagai Stadium’s long distance track (approx. 2.8 km) in about 20 minutes. Runners enjoyed the event in their own styles, some with family members, some with co-workers, and others in wheelchairs. The event was blessed with fine weather and people seemed to take pleasure in running together. I think the event also provided a taste of the real marathon to come.
After the Fun Run, one of the event’s charity supporters Mr. Norihiro Akahoshi (former Hanshin Tigers player) gave a talk. Also held was a prize drawing, drawn by Mr. Akahoshi and me for participants, with one of the winners receiving an entitlement to take part in the Osaka Marathon proper, which generated much excitement.
The course of the Osaka Marathon starts at Osaka Castle Park and takes in many famous Osaka neighborhoods and landmarks, such as Midosuji, Nakanoshima, Namba and Tsutenkaku. More than one million spectators and numerous volunteer staff members are expected to line the streets to cheer the 30,000 expected runners. Runners will be entering from over 40 countries and regions, indicating the heightened international attention the event is receiving.
We hope the marathon, Osaka’s new festival supported jointly by citizens and the community, will invigorate Osaka and the Kansai region, and look forward to your warm support.