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Elimination of Landmines Charity Event - "World Relay Marathon, Not Mines, But Flowers"


© AAR Japan

© AAR Japan

Against the backcloth of heightened health consciousness in Japan, etc., the running boom continues unabated. Individuals are not just enjoying running as a personal pursuit, increasing numbers are also taking up the challenge of competing nationwide in various marathon events, etc. One Point this month introduces a charity marathon that gives participants an opportunity to again consider "the joys of being able to run freely." On Sunday, February 2, 2014, at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, the "World Relay Marathon, Not Mines, But Flowers" will be held.

The organizer of the event, the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan), is an international non-government organization (NGO) born in Japan in 1979 to offer assistance to Indochinese refugees. Responding to landmines represents one foundation of AAR activities; it continues to work worldwide educating people to protect themselves against the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance, and it also offers assistance to help victims achieve independence. Furthermore, AAR publishes a picture book series entitled, "Not Mines, But Flowers," as well as carrying out landmine classes, etc., so that as many people as possible retain an interest in the landmines issue.

For the upcoming marathon event to be held under the banner of "Eliminating Landmines," the marathon runner, Mari Tanigawa, also both an AAR Japan Board Member and a Land Mine Abolition Campaign Ambassador, has been sworn in to advise. Donations collected from participants when applying to the event and the proceeds of a charity auction held on the day will be used to both support the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance, as well as to help victims.

AAR Japan Board Member, and Land Mine Abolition Campaign Ambassador for AAR, Mari Tanigawa (R), shown inspecting AAR anti-landmine activities in Myanmar. (September, 2013) © AAR Japan

AAR Japan Board Member, and Land Mine Abolition Campaign Ambassador for AAR, Mari Tanigawa (R), shown inspecting AAR anti-landmine activities in Myanmar. (September, 2013)
© AAR Japan

There will be three different events held at the "World Relay Marathon," a 12km relay marathon and a 8km obstacle relay marathon, both to be contested by teams of four. There will also be 50-meter races for children younger than elementary school age. Of course, participation as a team of four is possible, but it is also okay for individuals to apply to participate! In the 12km relay division, participants are being recruited to run as special team members that will be organized by AAR.*

Mari Tanigawa, the event adviser, has forwarded the following message regarding AAR "End-of-Year Fundraising 2013": "Being able to run freely is a joy. However, around the world, there are many people destined to lead restricted everyday lives as a result of the damage caused by landmines, something we find hard to imagine in Japan. When I think of such unjustness, I am always upset. Speaking honestly, I don't want any more landmine victims."

So what about it? What about gathering together with family, friends, or work colleagues, and spending a single winter's day running while thinking about a world without landmines.

Elimination of Landmines Charity Event - "World Relay Marathon, Not Mines, But Flowers"

Date:
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Closing Date for Applications:
Sunday, January 5, 2014 *applications may close when prescribed numbers have been reached.
Venue:
In the vicinity of Nissan Stadium (3300 Kozukue-cho, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture)
Events:
12km relay (four members to one team, legs: 4km→2km→2km→4km)
8km obstacle relay (four members to one team, legs: 2km each)
50-meter kids run (children younger than elementary school age, must run accompanied by parent or guardian)
Participation Fees:
¥12,600 per team in the 12km relay, 8km obstacle relay
¥1,000 per participant in the 50-meter kids run
* Donations in denominations of ¥100 will also be accepted at the time of application.
Organizer:
AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan, a recognized NPO)
Host:
Nissan Stadium (Yokohama Sports Association, acting as the representative management organization on behalf of the Shin Yokohama Park Organization)

For full details, please refer to this website⇒
・Official Website for the Event
http://www.hi-sports.com/nissanmarathon/index.html  (in Japanese only)
*People wishing to participate as a member of an AAR team are asked to confirm the details on the following website.
http://www.aarjapan.gr.jp/join/event/2014/0202_1343.html  (in Japanese only)