1000km Run & Ride to TOKYO

Ambassador・Guest Runner

Ambassador・Guest Runner

Ambassador
This year as “1000km Relay to Tokyo ambassador”, we have the honour to welcome Nobuharu Asahara, Kaori Icho, Shingo Kunieda and Naoko Takahashi.
Ambassadors will be participating not only as guest runners, but also will be joining PR activities.

Nobuharu Asahara

ambassador
Nobuharu Asahara
Comment

I am participating in this event as an ambassador this year again to help recovering the affected areas from the earthquake. With the people in the areas, I would like to pass the sash that has so much meaning within. Let us all feel the power of sports and enjoy this event together to show and deliver our passion to all the people who are cheering for us!

●Profile

Nobuharu Asahara is an athletics coach and a sports commentator. (born 1972, in Hyogo pref.) Participated in four consecutive Olympics; Atlanta, Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Won a bronze medal in the 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Assistant Director of Competition at Osaka Gas, President of an athletic club “NOBY T&F CLUB”, Vice president of Athlete Network. Promoting the “Healthy Community Building through Sport” with local governments jointly.

Scheduled to participate on Thursday, July 27

●Message movie

Kaori Icho

ambassador
Kaori Icho
Comment

I am very grateful to be an ambassador for this event “1000km Relay to Tokyo”, from Aomori; where I am originally from, to Tokyo with Sash. I would like to let as many people as possible know about this relay to show the affected areas’ current situation and also my strong feelings and thoughts to reconstruction.

●Profile

Kaori Icho is a wrestler in the 58kg women’s division. (born 1984, in Aomori pref.)
Started wrestling as a child, influenced by her brother and sister, graduated Chukyo women’s attached high school and Chukyo women’s University (Shisakkan University), and now she belongs to ALSOK team.
The first ever wrestler to win four consecutive individual Olympics gold medals in Athens, Beijing, London and Rio, and also a ten-time world champion.
Awarded the People’s Honour Award in 2016.

Intending to participate on Monday July 24

●Message movie

Shingo Kunieda

ambassador
Shingo Kunieda
Comment

The season of “1000km Relay to Tokyo” has arrived this year again. I encourage all of you and all the athlete to hand over the Sash with everyone’s thoughts in and finish the 1000 km relay.
Sports energize people, sports enlightens everyone. By passing this strong passion as well will hopefully make people in all over Japan cheerful.

●Profile

Shingo Kunieda is a professional wheelchair tennis player. (born 1984, in Tokyo)
Gold Paralympics medalist in the Wheelchair Tennis in Athens, Beijing, and London.
Won a gold medal in the doubles with Satoshi Saida as a pair at the Athens Paralympics in 2004.
Ranked No.1 in the world ranking in Oct, 2006. Achieved all Grand Slam in a single year in 2007.
Won a gold medal in singles and a bronze in doubles at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.
Won a gold medal in singles at the London Paralympics in 2012.
Won a bronze medal in doubles at the Rio Paralympics in 2016.

Naoko Takahashi

ambassador
Naoko Takahashi
Comment

The road to reconstructing of the affected area is still an ongoing process even after 6 years from the earthquake. To remember the thoughts and strong bonds went to the time when we all stood up for the tragedy, I will contain my heart to the Sash and pass it along to all and each one of you through 1000km Relay to Tokyo this year again.

●Profile

Naoko Takahashi is a marathon runner. (born 1972, in Gifu pref.)
Started track and field from middle school, graduated Gifu prefectural commercial high school and Osaka Gakuin University, then to works team.
Won a first place at the Nagoya International Women’s Marathon in 1998 for the first time, won six times consecutively after the first.
Won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics and awarded People’s Honour Award in 2000.
Established then-world record for the first-time run women’s marathon in under 2 hours and 20 minutes in Berlin, 2001. Retired from competitive marathon in Oct, 2008.
Executive Board Member of Japan Association of Athletics Federations, Executive Board Member of Japan Olympic Committee, Chairperson of Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Athlete’ Commission.

Scheduled to participate on Monday, July 24

●Message movie

Scheduled Guest Runner. (Part) (Random Order)
Guest runners will be joining “Start Ceremony” in every morning and passing the Sash in the “Fureai runners section (children and people with disabilities can join this section)” together with participants.

GUEST RUNNER

Aoki Ai

Aoki Ai
Comment

There’s a lot of power to be found in sport. I want to use that power to provide some cheer and courage to a great many more people. I want to plough those thoughts into the bond that we forge, and together with other participants, run with all my might this year once more.

●Profile

Former Synchlonized swimmer.
Participated in Beijing Olympics.

GUEST RUNNER

Yuko Arimori

Yuko Arimori
Comment

Six years have passed since the 2011 disaster. By running the 1000-km "path" with the "spirit of recovery" inside me, I want to bond with a brighter "tomorrow", in tandem with lots of fellow runners.

●Profile

Former Marathon runner.
Silver medalist in Barcelona Olympics.
Bronze medalist in Atlanta Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Sunday, August 6

GUEST RUNNER

Antokino-inoki

Antokino-inoki
Comment

Are you feeling alright? If so, you can certainly run the (path to the future)1000-km Relay to Tokyo. This year once more, I’ll be joining the battle and building rapport as I run. I’ll be using the power of sport to form bonds, and inject some energy and cheer into the never-ending recovery effort. I’ll be forging that bond, I’ll tell you! 1, 2, 3 – go for it!

●Profile

Entertainer.
Scheduled to participate on Saturday, August 5

GUEST RUNNER

Masashi Ishii

Masashi Ishii
Comment

I am honored to be taking part in this year’s 1000km Relay to Tokyo. My mother was born in Tohoku so, this time, I’m getting her to accompany me to the event venue. I’m looking forward to talking with lots of people on the ground in Tohoku. I’ll be delighted if I can bring smiles and joy to people through the power of sport.

●Profile

Paracyclist.
Gold medalist in Beijing Paralympics.
Participated in London, Rio Paralympics.
Scheduled to participate on Monday, July 24

GUEST RUNNER

Hanae Ito

Hanae Ito
Comment

This is the second time I’ll be participating in the 1000-km Relay to Tokyo event. And by running here, I can really get a feel for the local area. I’ll be running from Aomori to Tokyo, forming a connection with all fellow participants along the way via the sash. I’m also hoping that sport can provide the means for many a great conversation!

●Profile

Former Competitive swimmer.
Participated in Beijing, London Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Saturday, August 5

GUEST RUNNER

Chiemi Takahashi

Chiemi Takahashi
Comment

This is my first time to participate in the 1000-km Relay to Tokyo event. I want to pass on the baton of everyone’s hopes to the future. And I want to be able to help bring some cheer and courage to the people of the disaster zone, so that they may look towards a Tohoku recovery.

●Profile

Ex-track and field athlete (long distance running and marathon)
Sydney Olympics participant
Intending to participate on Wednesday July 26

GUEST RUNNER

Mima Ito

Mima Ito
Comment

I’m really happy to have the chance to participate in this year’s 1000km Relay to Tokyo. With the hopes of the disaster victims in my heart, and with the aim of conveying feelings of passion through table tennis, I am wearing the Japan Table Tennis Team’s “WASURENAI3.11 – Never forget March 11th” sports outfit for my table tennis matches.
On the day, I’ll be running energetically and with a smile, looking to forge bonds via the sash which carries everyone’s wishes and hopes for the future.

●Profile

Table tennis player.
Bronze medalist in Rio Olympics.

GUEST RUNNER

Tomohiro Ito

Tomohiro Ito
Comment

As someone who was born in Tohoku, I am so happy to be able to take part in this event. I believe that sport has the power to bring smiles to people. So, everyone, let's have fun, let's be happy, and lets form bonds with the aid of our sashes.

●Profile

Former track and field (short-distance) .
Athlete, participant in the Athens Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Wednesday, July 26

GUEST RUNNER

kyoko Iwasaki

kyoko Iwasaki
Comment

Each time I am able to participate, the warm feelings of the locals arouse equally warm feelings within me. Six years have passed since the 2011 disaster. The situation here is still very tough, and it’s with the intent of offering just a little support to everyone up here that I’ll be running again this year.

●Profile

Former Competitive swimmer.
Gold medalist in Barcelona Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Wednesday, August 2

GUEST RUNNER

Kenji Ogiwara

Kenji Ogiwara
Comment

It’s really important to feel that: “There IS a future. There’s always tomorrow.” The future is formed by earnestness, courage and energy. I want to connect with the ‘path to the future.’

●Profile

Former Nordic combined skier.
Participated in Albertville, Lillehammer, Nagano, Salt Lake City Olympics.
Gold medalist in Albertville and Lillehammer Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Saturday, July 29

GUEST RUNNER

Tugiharu Ogiwara

Tugiharu Ogiwara
Comment

I am really honored to be once again joining the “(path to the future)1000-km Relay to Tokyo in 2017.” With hopes for the Tohoku recovery firmly in my mind, I will use the sash to bond with my fellow runners. Let’s run towards a sparkling future!

●Profile

Former Nordic combined skier.
Participated in Nagano Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Wednesday, August 2

GUEST RUNNER

Takehiro Kashima

Takehiro Kashima
Comment

It's great to be participating in this 1000-km Relay to Tokyo for the first time. Along with everyone else running my stage of the relay, I want to use my sash to bond with others and get to know the local people.

●Profile

Former gymnast.
Gold and bronze medalist at the Athens Olympics and silver medalist at the Beijing Olympics
Scheduled to participate on Friday, July 28

GUEST RUNNER

Shota Kawamoto

Shota Kawamoto
Comment

I am grateful to be joining in the 1000km Relay to Tokyo for the first time this year. I hope that the participation of young athletes like me can cheer up and energize Japan even more, and provide added impetus to the recovery effort. I’ll be forging solid bonds with the sash that carries everyone’s hopes.

●Profile

Paracyclist.
Participated in Rio Paralympics.
Scheduled to participate on Monday, July 24

GUEST RUNNER

Kazuhiko Kanno

Kazuhiko Kanno
Comment

I feel really honored to have the chance to form a bond with everyone through the “(path to the future) 1000-km Relay to Tokyo” event. It’s been over 10 years since I started out life in a wheelchair, but sport enables me to meet lots of friends who I can lean on for support. It is with feelings of sheer gratitude that I’ll be gunning for that finish line along with everyone else.

●Profile

Wheelchair rugby player.
Bronze medalist in Rio Paralympics.
Scheduled to participate on Thursday, July 27

GUEST RUNNER

Tsuyoshi Kitazawa

Tsuyoshi Kitazawa
Comment

I’m really looking forward to running in the 1000km Relay to Tokyo for the third consecutive year.
I believe that sport has the power to bring cheer and energy to everyone. I want to aim for a society where everybody can enjoy life, regardless of whether abled or differently abled. And with those thoughts in mind, I’ll be building a connection to the future with the sash that embodies everybody’s hopes.

●Profile

Former soccer player.
Scheduled to participate on Monday, July 24

GUEST RUNNER

Mr. Robert Campbell

Mr. Robert Campbell
Comment

As someone who really loves the Tohoku area, I’m delighted to be participating in the 1000km Relay to Tokyo. I’ll be looking to invigorate myself by experiencing the Tohoku natural landscape with my entire body and breathing in the beautiful fresh air. Let’s raise our spirits by running together!

●Profile

Scholar of Japanese literature, Director-General of the National Institute of Japanese Literature
Scheduled to participate on Sunday, July 30

GUEST RUNNER

Yuri Shirahane

Yuri Shirahane
Comment

Once again I'm participating in the 1000-km Relay to Tokyo this year! Six years on from the 2011 disaster, my locality of Fukushima is gradually regaining the spring in its step. But the recovery still continues! Of course I want Fukushima locals to be smiling, but I also want the rest of Tohoku and people across Japan to be smiling, too. It is with those hopes firmly in mind that I want to run with all my might until the finish line, and bond with others via my sash.

●Profile

Actress, former Takarazuka Revue performer.
Scheduled to participate on Tuesday, August 1

GUEST RUNNER

Shiho Takada

Shiho Takada
Comment

Which people will I meet? What landscapes will unfold before me? The day on which I appear as a guest runner in the Relay to Tokyo certainly promises to be fun! Dreams, hopes and bonds. Let's all bond together through our sashes.

●Profile

Winner of the 49th Miss Nippon Grand Prix.
Scheduled to participate on Thursday, August 3 and Friday, August 4

GUEST RUNNER

Kenta Chida

Kenta Chida
Comment

I am lucky enough to be joining in as a guest runner after being absent last year. By running together with everyone on my home turf, Miyagi Prefecture, I want to do even just a little to aid the disaster zone recovery. I'm looking forward to interacting with all the other participants. See you there!

●Profile

Former Fencer.
Silver medalist in London Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Sunday, July 30

GUEST RUNNER

Masako Chiba

Masako Chiba
Comment

I participate in this race every year and each time I do, I can both see the recovery with my own eyes and feel it in the stories I hear. To ensure that memories of the disaster do not fade with time, and that, by running, our minds and bodies are moving forward positively in tandem… let’s use our sashes to form that connection with the future, and also with the “Recovery Olympics” in three years’ time.

●Profile

Former Marathon runner.
Participated in Atlata Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Tuesday, July 25

GUEST RUNNER

Naoki Tsukahara

Naoki Tsukahara
Comment

From the moment that the first runners set off, all united by their sashes, the hearts and hopes of everyone present are connected to a place 1000-km into the future ("tomorrow"). I'm not only honored to be one of those runners, but also determined to support everyone striving to preserve the memory of events which must never be forgotten, and attempting to overcome them through the power of sport.

●Profile

Fujitsu Member.
Former Track and Field Athlete (Short Distance).
Beijing Olympics Bronze Medalist.

GUEST RUNNER

Sae Tsuji

Sae Tsuji
Comment

I’m really happy to be able to participate as a guest runner this time. Six years have passed since the 2011 disaster, and the region is still on the road to recovery. So there’s still a lot of things we can do. And one of the things I can do is deliver my utmost to forge a connection with the future through this relay. Let’s cheer up Japan through the power of sport!

●Profile

Track and field (short distance) athlete.
Participant in the Rio Paralympics.
Scheduled to participate on Saturday, August 5

GUEST RUNNER

Honami Tsuboi

Sae Tsuji
Comment

I am overjoyed to be participating in the 1000km Relay to Tokyo for the first time. I want to use the power of sport to deliver positivity, energy and hope to yet more people. With all kinds of hopes in mind, and wearing the sash brimful of people’s wishes, I want to run towards a sparkling future with my fellow runners. I hope that we can bring a beautiful smile to many people’s hearts. And I’m really, really looking forward to a day which gives me the chance to meet the Tohoku locals.

●Profile

Former rhythmic gymnasts.
Beijing Olympic representative.
Scheduled to participate in the Friday, July 28 welcome event through Saturday, July 29

GUEST RUNNER

Ikue Teshigawara

Ikue Teshigawara
Comment

I’m joining the event again this year with prayers for a quick Tohoku recovery in my mind. I will run with the aim of delivering some cheer, courage and power to even just one extra person. The Pyongyang Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be taking place next year. In order to create a bright future through sport, I want to run as one with my fellow runners and form that bond with the sash.

●Profile

Former Short track speed skater.
Participated in Nagano, Salt Lake City, Turin Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Thursday, August 3

GUEST RUNNER

Akira Toyoshima

Akira Toyoshima
Comment

For the second year running, I am delighted to be involved in the 1000km Relay to Tokyo. Although it’s really tough to keep going with something, I believe that “continuity and perseverance brings power.” And I therefore believe that by continuing this annual event, which allows participants and disaster victims to bond together, we can connect to a brighter future. So let’s use our sash to build that connection with the future!

●Profile

Wheelchair basketball player.
Participated in London, Rio Paralympics.
Scheduled to participate on Wednesday, August 2

GUEST RUNNER

Mai Nakamura

Mai Nakamura
Comment

I’m really happy to be joining the event again this year, having also participated last year. I’ll be running along the “path to the future” with ardent hopes that the power of sport can bring Japan together as one. While clutching the sash brimful of hopes for recovery tightly to my chest, I also want to really enjoy my time running together with everyone.

●Profile

Former competition swimmer.
Silver medalist at the Sydney Olympics and participant in the Atlanta Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Monday, July 31

GUEST RUNNER

Shinji Negi

Shinji Negi
Comment

Once again, I’ll be joining in the 1000km Relay to Tokyo this year. Every year, I am really moved by all the great encounters I have with people. I’m really looking forward to running with everyone and channeling everybody’s hopes into my sash.

●Profile

Former Wheerchair basketball player.
Participated in Sydney Paralympics.
Plans to participate Sunday 30 of July, and on August 6

GUEST RUNNER

Eiji Nozawa

Eiji Nozawa
Comment

Six years have passed since the 2011 disaster and while the recovery effort is gathering pace, there are still some areas where the recovery has not yet reached. I hope with all my heart that a complete recovery can be realized as quickly as possible.

●Profile

Former Baisuron.
Silver medalist in Nagano Paralympics.
Scheduled to participate on Monday, July 24

GUEST RUNNER

Miyuki Hatanaka

Miyuki Hatanaka
Comment

I am involved in activities which support the revival of tourism in my local area because I actually lost loved ones in the 2011 disaster. Under an uplifting local sky, I want to run with all my might - and with my family running in the same vein alongside me. I am going to continue such activities to the extent we become cheerleaders for the Tohoku recovery.

●Profile

Former Freestyle skier.
Participated in Salt Lake City, Turin Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Sunday, July 30

GUEST RUNNER

Ryoko Hinata

Ryoko Hinata
Comment

I’m delighted to be running in the (path to the future) 1000-km Relay to Tokyo. From Aomori on the first day to Rikuzentakata on Day 4, I’ll be running along the route, watching, feeling and conveying as I observe how the Tohoku people along the path are vigorously advancing step by step. And while fervently hoping for a brighter tomorrow, I’ll be forging a bond with the future.

●Profile

Model/Cyclist.
Scheduled to participate on Monday, July 24 through Thursday, July 27

GUEST RUNNER

Sayaka Hirano

Sayaka Hirano
Comment

I'm delighted to once again be participating in this 1000-km Relay to Tokyo. With a smile on my face, and with our hearts united, I want to bond with others via my sash over this long 1000-km path.

●Profile

Former table tennis player.
Silver medalist at the London Olympics and participant in the Beijing Olympics.
Scheduled to participate on Wednesday, July 28

GUEST RUNNER

Takayuki Hirose

Takayuki Hirose
Comment

This is my first time to join the event. As someone who was born in Chiba, I want to ensure that the sash from Tohoku connects solidly with the Chiba route. I’m really looking forward to running with everyone.

●Profile

Boccia athlete.
Silver medalist at the Rio Paralympics, participant in the Beijing and London Paralympics.
Scheduled to participate on Sunday, August 6

GUEST RUNNER

Miho Fujii

Miho Fujii
Comment

I feel very happy to participate as a guest runner and be able to form bonds via the sash that represents our hopes for a Tohoku recovery. I want to be an athlete who takes responsibility for “tomorrow – our future,” and do my best to ensure that every step I tread brings added power to the recovery effort.

●Profile

Paracyclist.
Scheduled to participate on Monday, July 24

GUEST RUNNER

Florent Dabadie

Florent Dabadie
Comment

I’m incredibly happy to be joining this year’s 1000-km Relay to Tokyo. For four years, I lodged with Japan soccer team players in the J-VILLAGE, located in the north part of Iwaki City. That represented the start line for my working life. This time, I’ll be running along the nearby Ibaraki coastline, and also near Kashima, a place which holds many memories for me. It’s my first 1000-km relay and I’ll be putting all my heart into my running.

●Profile

Sports Journalist
Intending to participate from Saturday August 5 to Sunday August 6

GUEST RUNNER

Yayoi Matsumoto

Yayoi Matsumoto
Comment

I’m running in the (path to the future) 1000-km Relay to Tokyo for the first time. Six years have passed since the 2011 disaster and the thing that I can do is go around the disaster region, grasp the situation, and make sure that we never forget what happened that day. And through this 1000-km relay, I want to send out a message to the whole of Japan that the Tohoku recovery is happening little by little.

●Profile

Competition swimmer.
Participant in the London and Rio Olympics
Scheduled to participate on Tuesday, August 1

GUEST RUNNER

Takeshi Mizuuchi

Takeshi Mizuuchi
Comment

And so I’ve come to participate in the 1000-km relay again, just as I have done every year since the event started in 2013. This is my fifth time here, and the fun that comes with participating simply grows every year. Once more in 2017, I want to share in that delightful feeling of achievement that comes with everybody cooperating and forming a bond with their sashes.

●Profile

Former soccer player.
Scheduled to participate on Sunday, July 31

GUEST RUNNER

Ryo Miyake

Ryo Miyake
Comment

So what exactly can we learn and experience through sport? I'd say it's the ability to connect and bond. By coming together to tackle this event, people can deepen both their resolve to help one another and the bonds that come with mutual recognition through competition. It'll be great if I can help to get that message across during this year's event.

●Profile

Fencer.
Silver medalist in London Olympics.
Scheduled to participate in the Thursday, August 3 welcome event through Friday, August 4

GUEST RUNNER

Junichi Miyashita

Junichi Miyashita
Comment

I'm really pleased to be involved in the 1000-km Relay to Tokyo once again. By running as one with the other participants, hearts united, it will be great if we can share our recollections of the 2011 disaster and establish a connection with the next generation. I'm going to grit my teeth and grind towards that line step by step, so I'd be grateful for all your support!

●Profile

Former competition swimmer.
Bronze medalist at the Beijing Olympics
Scheduled to participate on Sunday, August 6

GUEST RUNNER

Kenji Moriwaki

Kenji Moriwaki
Comment

Basically, I like running. Even though I’m now 50 years old, I still go running almost every day. Sure, on some days it rains and on other days I just don’t feel like it. But by telling myself to “run even just a little and then call it quits,” I can get myself running before I know it, and get through my regular practice course. And then I soak myself in the bath and drink an ice-cool beer. That’s the point at which I believe, from the bottom of my heart: “It was great that I got up and ran again today!”
There are also times when I gather lots of friends and we all go running together. Simply by running and sweating as one, we can forge a sense of solidarity and eternally feel in the heyday of youth. I think that the very fact you are running allows you to relish the feeling of being reinvigorated and refreshed.
I’m really grateful to be able to run the 1000km Relay to Tokyo. Motivation (Yaruki)! Vitality (Genki)! And me! (Moriwaki!)

●Profile

Entertainer.
Scheduled to participate on Wednesday, August 2

GUEST RUNNER

Atushi Yamamoto

Atushi Yamamoto
Comment

Let's connect 1000-km of land through the efforts of a great many people, and proudly showcase the wonders of interpersonal connection and the power of sport. I'm really proud to be one of these people. Let's all come together to inject a positive vibe into Japan.

●Profile

Track and field athlete (long jump).
Silver medalist in Beijing and Rio Paralympics.
Scheduled to participate on Sunday, July 30

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