On Saturday 6 April, Japan will become the latest country to join the parkrun family, with the launch of Futakotamagawa parkrun in Tokyo.
parkrun Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE tells us the story behind the birth of parkrun Japan…
In October 2017 we were approached by Sumitomo Life with regards the possibility of starting parkrun in Japan, they were also preparing to launch the Vitality Health programme. As we already had strong relationships with Vitality in South Africa and the UK, and as Japan being a country we were already interested in, we decided to discuss things further.
After positive discussions, we invited representatives from Sumitomo Life to visit Dulwich parkrun, London, in order to experience parkrun first hand.
Six-time Paralympian and parkrun Ambassador, Noel Thatcher MBE, finishes Dulwich parkrun, in April 2018, with a representative of Sumitomo Life.
We realised during that visit that our respective organisations shared very much in common, and we committed ourselves to travelling to Japan in order to develop our understanding of how parkrun might work. In July 2018 we visited Tokyo, spending a week with representatives of Sumitomo, visiting possible event locations and meeting a wide range of people who were interested in helping parkrun Japan become a reality.
Representatives from Sumitomo Life, parkrun, and Discovery Vitality, meeting Commissioner for the Japan Sports Agency and two-time Olympian, Mr Daichi Suzuki, in July 2018.
Photo courtesy of Daichi Suzuki
Travelling home from our Japanese trip, we realised that we had not only formed a strong bond between our two organisations, and made great friends, but were fully committed to making parkrun Japan a reality.
Sumitomo, parkrun, and Discovery, together after an informal 5k walk, jog, and run, around Komazawa Park, Tokyo, in July 2018.
After a huge amount of hard work, from a wide range of people across parkrun Global, parkrun Australia, Discovery Vitality, and Sumitomo Life, I’m looking forward to attending the launch event at Futakotamagawa parkrun on April the 6th, and to personally welcome Japan to the parkrun family.
Please remember the South Island parkruns of Dunedin, Balclutha, Invercargill, Queenstown and Wanaka parkruns have changed to the winter start time of 9am. New parkrun event: Hobsonville Point (Auckland) – 18th May 2019 Cancellations: Puarenga (Rotorua) – 4th May 2019 Queenstown – 22nd June (Winterfest) Queenstown – 16th November (Queenstown Marathon) Upcoming Anniversaries: Tauranga - April…
Congrats to this awesome couple, completing their 50th parkrun each today! Well done Warren & Sharon Patterson! Palmerston North parkrun Champions.. huge congratulations! – Jackie Welsh Congratulations great effort that you have shared. Proud of you both – Valerie Kent Thanks parkrun family…couldn’t do it without you all – Warren Patterson Thanks parkrun,…