OISCA Supporting Runners Participated in Osaka Marathon 2015
The 5th Osaka Marathon was held in Osaka on October 26, 2015. This annual marathon is one of the largest charity sporting events in Japan held with a unique slogan: “Running helps someone”. This year, more than 32,000 runners from around the world participated in the race. Daniel Kosgei (Kenya) won first place in overall male category with the record of 2:13:46. In the women’s race, Maryna Damantsevich (Belarus) won for the second time with the course record of 2:32:28.
Following last year, OISCA Japan was selected by the organizers as one of the 14 charitable organizations for which individual charity runners are required to collect donations of over 70,000 JPY among the general public in order to participate in the marathon.
This year, 26 OISCA supporting runners took part in the Osaka race to help fund-raising activities for the 10-Year Coastal Forest Restoration Project now under way in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture severely hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. The OISCA runners comprised people with diverse backgrounds: OISCA staff and former intern, international cooperation volunteers, representatives from supporting corporations and individual supporters including Mr. Masami Fujisawa, a 61-year-old Osaka resident who was affected by the disaster when he was living with his family in Miyagi Prefecture during the time of the disaster and running for the second time following last year.
Another salient feature of the OISCA participation this year is that 6 of the runners are from the Philippines. Led by Mr. Shigemi Watanabe, Director of OISCA Bago Training Center, Negros Occidental, Philippines, the former Filipino OISCA trainees underwent hard training in preparation for the marathon before coming over to Japan.
Since 2011, OISCA Japan and the Association for Coastal Forest Restoration in Natori City have been carrying out the 10-year project to restore the seashore forest seriously damaged by the devastating tsunami. So far, a total of 130,000 seedlings of black pine and indigenous species have been planted over the 16-hectare coastal site. The project will run up until 2020 with a total budget of 1 billion JPY. The donations collected in the Osaka Marathon will be utilized for this project.