Usually held every February, the Iwaki Sunshine Marathon has launched a new promotional video campaign featuring Athens Olympics marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi and sumo wrestling comedian Akatsu. The campaign is promoting a new "alternate reality" event in place of the Iwaki Sunshine Marathon. By scanning QR codes installed along the Iwaki Sunshine Marathon course, participants can take pictures of themselves altered to look as though they are running in the race at that point on the course.
Following a cancelation due to bad weather in 2019 and coronavirus cancelations of the 2020 and 2021 races, the goal of the campaign is ask the event's fans not to forget it. Kota Furuhashi of the event organizing committee explained, "All of us on the organizing committee hope that this will inspire people to take part in the real Sunshine Marathon the next time it's held."
Noguchi commented, "Doing work on this project has been so much fun that I can't wait to really run the race as soon as I can." Akatsu, an Iwaki native, has been nursing a knee injury, but that didn't stop him from joining in for the sake of the hometown crew. "Since this is an Iwaki event, I couldn't miss it," he said. "I think everyone who takes part can feel all the goodness of the marathon and of Iwaki."