The Kasumigaura Marathon and International Blind Marathon was held on April 17, 2016. Hitachi Construction Machinery Group has been contributing to the region as a local business by being a special sponsor since 2006.
The event, which is in its 26th year, drew approximately 18,560 runners and racers and was held over four competitions, including a 5 km run, 10 mile run (approx. 16.09 km), full marathon and wheelchair race.
On the day, we were hit with strong winds and rain part way through. However, approximately 250 employees, with a focus on new employees, supported the event and enlivened it by providing water stations in front of the Tsuchiura Works, event management assistance at the start and finish line at Kawaguchi Sports Park, guide helpers to support visually impaired or wheelchair athletes, and other assistance.
Following on from last year, London Paralympics cycling bronze medalist and HCM employee, Masaki Fujita took the lead as a wheelchair marathon support rider so as to help avoid collisions between wheelchair racers and runners, who compete at different speeds.
The HCM Group plans to continue to offer its support for future events.