11 March - Tokyo 2016 Bid Ambassador Kanpei Hazama - Japans
most famous comedian - sailed into Los Angeles today after completing a 70-day,
12,710-km journey across the Pacific Ocean. The
crossing formed the second leg of Hazamas historic Earth
Marathon, a 36,000-km (23,000-mile) test of endurance in support of Tokyos
Bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the heart of Japans
vibrant capital city.
Following his arrival in the US, Kanpei and his
crewman, Keisuke Hiki, met the media in Alamitos Bay Marina in Long Beach today
for a press conference broadcast to millions of Japanese viewers by Nippon
Network Television (NTV).
Earth Marathon began on 17 December 2008 and
passed through the heart of Tokyo on 28 December. Hazama set sail from
Kamogawa, Chiba prefecture, on 1 January to begin the second stage of his epic
journey on foot and by water. After undergoing a medical check-up and
recovering his land
he will begin the third leg - a superhuman 4,800-km run across North America
from Los Angeles to New York City which includes a stop in Chicago. Hazama will
then set sail for Europe in June.
Reflecting Tokyo 2016s emphasis on the
Olympic spirit of friendship and respect, Hazamas
which will see him cover 50km per day on land and a total of 16,000km on water
- is taking him through the 2016 Candidate Cities of Chicago and Madrid. He
will also visit Copenhagen on 2 October 2009 to demonstrate his support for
Tokyo 2016 as the host city for the 2016 Games is chosen at the International
Olympic Committee (IOC) Session and Olympic Congress.
Kanpei Hazama, Tokyo 2016 Bid Ambassador, said: "I
have finally arrived in Los Angeles after 70 days of sailing! I will never
forget this city because of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Games
and the excitement they generated. As a Tokyo 2016 Bid Ambassador, I would like
to use this Earth Marathon to inspire everyone to help bring the 2016 Games to
Hazama's arrival in Los Angeles also marks the launch of the 'Run With Kanpei!
Project'. He will be passing through countless cities, towns and communities as
he makes his way to New York and encourages everyone to join him for a stretch
of the trip. From running club and school athletics team members to seasoned
marathoners, wheelchair athletes and enthusiastic amateurs - all are welcome.
Kanpei Hazama added: "I will shortly be running
4,800 km across America to get to New York City, and I am looking forward to
meeting people from all over the country on this stage of my journey. Why don't
we run together?"
Dr. Ichiro Kono, Chair and CEO, Tokyo 2016, said: "Tokyo 2016 and all of
Japan is wholeheartedly supporting Kanpei Hazama on his incredible journey. He
is an inspiration to us all, persevering under the most gruelling conditions
without ever losing his trademark positivity and sense of humour. We are exceptionally proud that he is a Tokyo
2016 Bid Ambassador.
"By promoting international goodwill and inspiring people in Japan and
around the world to engage with sport and healthy living, Kanpei embodies the
values at the heart of the Olympic Movement and Tokyo's Bid to set the stage
for heroes in 2016."
Hazama's exact time of arrival in each town on the third leg of Earth Marathon
will not be determined until he approaches each city. Those interested in
joining him are asked to check the online event schedule for details: http://earthmarathon.ning.com/events.
The website offers real-time updates on Hazama's progress, links to his location
on Google Earth, regular photo updates and an English-language blog. More
information about the 'Run With Kanpei! Project' can be found at http://earthmarathon.ning.com/page/run-with-kanpei
Thousands of people around the world are following
Hazama on his fantastic, globe-spanning test of endurance. 'KANPEI Earth
Marathon Supporters Club' - http://earthmarathon.ning.com/ - is a social networking
service launched in February for anyone wishing to offer him encouragement.
Kanpei Hazama's Earth Marathon itinerary:
17 December 2008 Depart
28 December 2008 Run through the heart of Tokyo
31 December 2008 Arrive at
Kamogawa, Chiba (Japanese city on the Pacific Coast)
1 January 2009 Leave
for US by yacht to cross the Pacific Ocean to Los Angeles
March 2009 Arrive in Los Angeles, USA
March 2009 - June 2009 Run from Los Angeles to New York City, via
July 2009 Arrive
in Lisbon, Portugal having sailed from North America
July 2009 Run across Europe, via Madrid
Before 2 October 2009 Arrive in Copenhagen ahead of the IOC Congress
After 2 October 2009 Depart
Copenhagen for the Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and China
February 2011 Arrive at Qingdao, China
February 2011 Sail
to Kagoshima, Japan
Complete the Earth Marathon in Japan
An experienced runner and sailor, Hazama has participated in more than 70 marathons
and ultra marathons including the renowned Hawaii Honolulu Marathon, the Greece
Spartathrone 246km race and the 560km Tokyo-Osaka event.
Earth Marathon URL
Throughout the challenge, blog updates and approx. 2-3 minutes of video footage
are being uploaded to the website every day.
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