Chicago Shimpo
Japanese Business Community
Challenges Walk & Run


• The Japanese business community in the Chicago area enjoyed walking and running in Ned Brown Preserve of Busse Woods on June 17, a hot summer day. About 330 participated in “Walk & Run 2018”, which was hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chicago (JCCC).
• The event was initiated to celebrate JCCC’s 50th anniversary in 2016, and the second one was organized because of many requests from its members and their families. It was also held as a part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Chicago Futabakai Japanese Day School, which was supported by JCCC.
• The 5-kilometer-walk participants started toward north at 8:30 p.m., and 8-kilometer-run participants started toward south at 8:45 a.m.

• Kento Sakano appeared from the hazy heat and crossed the ribbon first with the time record of 39 minutes and 12 seconds. He is a tennis player, but never ran for a marathon before. “Mentally and physically, the hardest part was after the turn-around point. I felt that the goal was still far away. I never thought that I could win because there were many sturdy men around me,” Sakano said.

• Just two seconds after Sakano, Takashi Kawasaki crossed the ribbon with the time record of 39 minutes and 14 seconds. “The last half of 4 kilometers was very tough with heat and exhaustion. I don’t have time to do exercise regularly, but I try to go to a gym. I think that I did a good job today,” Kawasaki said.

• It was a very close race. The third winner was Kazuya Iida. He crossed the finish line with the time record of 39 minutes and 36 seconds. He said, “I began running in the middle of April, but only ran for 4 kilometers, a half of today, so I was very anxious if I could make it. The last half was especially hard for me, so I finished it without a sprint.”

• In the lady’s race, Mami Takane crossed the ribbon first with the time record of 40 minutes and 46 seconds. “I don’t run for a marathon, but I do swimming. I think that swimming gave me endurance. There was no shade at the last part of the course, so it was very hot. I think that I was at my limit, so I got tired,” Takane said.

• The second winner was Yuri Fujishiro with the time record of 44 minutes and 43 seconds. She said, “Last one mile was very hard to me. I sometimes go to a gym and ran 8 kilometers for several times. I’m so happy to finish it today. I’m so pleased.”

• The third winner was Elizabeth Karr with the time record of 48 minutes and 14 seconds. She said, “I run maybe 2 or 3 time a week on trails or at the gym. The heat was sure, and the most important thing was staying hydrated. If you are not hydrated, you can actually get heat exhaustion. My pace would be 10 minutes per mile, so I completed the race under 15 minutes.”

• The winners received a big medal. After the race, all participants enjoyed a picnic with an onigiri (rice ball) and other food and soft drinks




1st. Kento Sakano (R), 2nd. Takashi Kawasaki (C), and 3rd. Kazuya Iida (L).


1st. Mami Takane (L), 2nc. Yuri Fujishiro (C), and 3rd. Elizabeth Karr (R).