OISCA Charity Runners Shined in Osaka Marathon 2016
A total of 48 charity runners supporting OISCA took part in the 6th Osaka Marathon which was held on October 30. In the race in which more than 32,000 runners participated, Mr. Ngandu Benjamin of Kenya won first place with record of 2:12:47 in over all male category, while Ms. Yoshiko Sakamoto of Japan won in overall women category with the record of 2:36:02.
OISCA participated in this great sport event for the third time following 2014 and 2015. The OISCA runners comprised staff of the Headquarters in Tokyo, Training Centers in Aichi and Shikoku, representatives from supporting corporations including CKD Corporation in Aichi, KOKURYU Industry Company, WILD GOOSE and NEXTA Corporation in Osaka, and labor unions such as Life Workers Union and Asahi Glass Workers Union as well as individual participants. Following last year, OISCA Philippines dispatched 8 runners including Mr. Shigemi Watanabe, Director of OISCA Bago Training Center in Negros Occidental, who had conducted preparatory running exercises over the past few months.
Among the 14 organizations, beneficiaries of the donations which fielded 480 charity runners, OISCA won the Best Charity Runner Award given to an individual runner who raised the largest number of donations. Mr. Toshimichi Yoshida, Director in charge of the Coastal Forest Restoration Project in Natori, received the prestigious award which is the fruit of generous support by 800 people, mostly field work volunteers at the project site in Natori.
In addition to mobilizing the charity runners, OISCA also set up an exhibition booth in Osaka Marathon EXPO held from October 28 to 30 at INTEX Osaka. It is an event which featured various programs and more than 100 different exhibition booths for drumming up the Osaka Marathon. During the 3-day period, it attracted some 123,000 visitors including marathon runners, their families and supporters. At the OISCA booth, photo panels on the Natori Coastal Forest Restoration Project were displayed and information materials on the Project were distributed.
OISCA and a group of disaster-hit local residents on the Natori coastal area have been carrying out a 10-year project since 2011 to restore the seashore forest badly damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. So far, a total of 190,000 seedlings of black pine and indigenous species have been planted over 37 hectares out of the 100-hectare project site in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture. The donations raised through the Osaka Marathon is expected to be effectively spent for the project.