On 23 December 2015, six Arup Tokyo office staff participated in the 6th Adachi Friendly Half Marathon to raise funds for the earthquake and tsunami regions.
First held back in 2010, this event is organised by Adachi-ku Athletics Association (AAA) in Tokyo to promote healthy lifestyles for people living in and around the region. In 2011, the year of the Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami, AAA started a charity programme to donate a portion of the entry fee to the prefectural government of the affected regions.
Among more than 8,500 participants from all over Japan, all the Arupians ran strong and finished well on time. The marathon route is along the Arakawa River, which flows near the east edge of Tokyo and is known for its riverbed which is wide enough to hold sporting activities. It is also a popular jogging route providing a quiet, green area and water view away from the dense Tokyo traffic. Looking across from any of the Arakawa bridges are fields populated by neighbouring communities and public/private schools partaking in activities including baseball, football and lacrosse throughout the year.
On the day of the event, the roadside along the marathon route was filled with crowds of sports fans, cheering passionately for the runners as if this was the Olympics.
In these events, it is inspiring to witness a few participants aged over 40 demonstrating outstanding physical fitness and stamina that surpasses participants still in their 30s and even some in their 20s. Suffering from exhaustion and muscle pain after this event must have been a driver for many runners to make a New Year’s resolution to maintain and improve their physical fitness. Veterans from Adachi Friendly Marathon are looking forward to a higher participation next year to encourage healthy lifestyles among our staff.