translated by Brett Larner
The organizers of the 3rd Iwaki Sunshine Marathon to be held Feb. 12 in Iwaki, Fukushima, announced Jan. 30 that Iwaki native Ryuji Kashiwabara, 22, the captain of 2012 Hakone Ekiden winners Toyo University, will run as a special guest at this year's race. Kashiwabara commented, "I hope that I can give even a little encouragement to everyone in my hometown to help them take another step toward rebuilding."
Kashiwabara is entered in the full marathon, which starts at the Iwaki Civic Track & Field Grounds, and plans to run around 8 km with the other entrants. Iwaki mayor and race committee director Takao Watanabe* said, "I want to extend my thanks to Kashiwabara for keeping all of us back home in his thoughts ever since the disasters."
*Translator's note: This is not the same Takao Watanabe who coached Samuel Wanjiru and currently coaches Megumi Kinukawa.