Reflecting on the Event! 22km Edition Part 3

The top runner for the 22km race returned to the forest park around 12:10 PM. The record-holder was Satoshi Fujisawa from Joetsu City, with a time of 1 hour and 41 minutes. Congratulations!!

Unfortunately, we couldn’t capture a front-facing photo at the moment of triumph, but we did manage to capture a moment with his family. A proud father indeed.

Just before the finish line, the students from Oguni Elementary School, who had completed their own race a bit earlier, were there to cheer on the runners with all their might. Looking at the photos, you can almost hear the energetic voices of the children!

With such enthusiastic cheers, who wouldn’t be motivated to run to the finish line?

Around 2 PM, guest runner Chizuru Obuchi also returned. And of course, she struck her signature pose for Tokimingo!

Now that the prolonged state of emergency due to the extended COVID-19 situation has come to an end, a warm meal awaited the runners (and their families) after crossing the finish line! Curry rice with generous toppings, pork miso soup, and wild vegetable dishes—prepared with love by the mothers of Oguni.

How was the taste?

Understood as “Absolutely satisfying!”

The award ceremony took place from 2:30 PM. Some participants from outside the prefecture had to leave early due to time constraints, and it was truly moving to think that they came from afar to this small town for the event! Thank you all so much.

After the award ceremony, around 3 PM, three last runners returned to the forest park! Encouraging those runners who might have felt discouraged along the way with words like “You can do it, keep going,” it seems the sweeper, medical support runners, and healthcare professionals ran together, offering support. From the last Newmachi Aid Station, the aid station leader, and the doctor reversed their course to welcome them, and everyone safely returned to the finish line 15 minutes before the time limit.

This event had 450 participants, 449 finishers, and no medical interventions—an outstanding achievement. As organizers, it’s something to be proud of above all else. A heartfelt thank you to Tokimingo, who took on the race management for this event, and to the healthcare staff who diligently watched over runners of various ages.

This time, without a featured long-distance race and with significant delays in event announcements and entries compared to previous years, we caused inconvenience not only to the participants but also to everyone involved. However, having had the opportunity to closely observe the 22km race, we were able to witness the drama that is often overshadowed by longer races.
On the day, there were undoubtedly many things that didn’t go as smoothly as hoped. Still, looking back, despite inconveniencing many, I think it was worth holding the event.

To all participants, the dedicated staff, and the local community, thank you so much. I look forward to meeting again!

Thanks for reading all the way through

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