As one of the biggest and most awaited marathon in Japan (and even the whole world), I took the chance to witness this year’s Tokyo Marathon. Well technically, I didn’t actually run but a close friend of mine made it to the list of around 36,000 runners. So, we (me and my husband) traveled to the capital city to give our cheers!

Known to be an annual event, Tokyo Marathon aims to unite people all across the world and contribute to the charity by running for a cost. This year, it took place in one of the streets in Tokyo and lasted for a half day. It is not your ordinary marathon since the registration period started as early as August of the last year, plus, only those who were accepted can be able to run. Registrants (that basically reaches roughly at 50,000) will only have to hope that luck will be on there side to be one of the chosen.

With over 1 million crowd, people from all over the world gathered into the streets with their personal cheering banners. Some were even waving their county’s flag as a way to show their support. Well, of course we have our own runner to cheer too! But let me tell about him later on.

As expected, the streets were also surrounded with police officers, medical teams and volunteers ready to help and assist any troubled or lost tourist. So, I could perfectly say that we were safe and that everything was under control.

Oh, and let us not forget the performers that made the whole event lively and musical. Summing up the whole thing certainly gave us such a positive feeling; from the vibrant colored banners, the live music,the cheering crowd and the great weather.

Anyone can join from different walks of life. The run was divided into two major events and categories: The marathon (Men and women / men and women on wheelchair) and the 10 km race (Men and Women, Junior & Youth, men and women on wheelchair, Visually Impaired, Intellectually Challenged and Organ Transplant Recipients). Seeing all participants from these categories has inspired me to believe that there is no challenge bigger than the power of believing in yourself!

Some runners made the highlight by running in a very peculiar attire or wearing the craziest hat. Believe me, I saw runners in a complete formal suit, in an anime costume, some neon tights and they were all equally fascinating.

Now to tell you the main reason why we came to the event: a friend of mine whom I have known for three years grabbed the chance of being a part of the marathon when he was luckily chosen upon registering. He belonged to the category of people who had undergone a transplant surgery or Organ Transplant Recipients for a 10 km run. For those of you who were wondering, he was diagnosed of a cancer and had to stay in the hospital for a year. But this never stopped him for making himself better and developing his inner and outer strengths, thus we only thought he deserved a vote of confidence and a loud cheer!

He was able to complete the run for 1 hour and five minutes (which was definitely not a bad score). Seeing the medal hanging on his neck for some reason made us genuinely proud!

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Twenty-two (22) Forward is inspired from personal experiences, intimate thoughts and life adventure created and authored by LOLISA MAE SAKURAI. A special mark to her 22nd chapter, the things in between, and everything beyond there is.

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