Run through Shopping Mall Seated on Office ChairsRace's Birthplace, Kyotanabe City, Kyoto Prefecture
On March 24, "ISU-1 GP (Grand Prix)," an endurance race in which participants seated on office chairs compete along a course set in a shopping area or other location, was held at the race's birthplace, Kirara Mall, Kawara, Kyotanabe City, Kyoto Prefecture. Sixty-seven teams from the Kinki and Kanto areas, Taiwan, and other locations participated, running through the shopping arcade.
The race was hosted by an executive committee consisting of Kirara Mall's business cooperative and others. This race marked its 9th anniversary. Three people form a team, take turns sitting in an office chair and race through a roughly 180-meter loop course around the shopping mall, competing with other teams in the number of times they can go around the course within the given time. The race has become such a popular sport that it is held officially in 18 cities in Japan, Singapore and other countries.
The top 33 teams from the preliminary rounds proceeded to the finals, which was a two-hour endurance race. Receiving rousing cheers from the roadsides, participants earnestly kicked the ground to move ahead. It was a dynamic race, with some chairs bumping into each other while others fell down.
The winning team was "Narashino ICHIBAN," hailing from Narashino City, Chiba Prefecture, a friendship city of Kyotanabe City. They set a race record, having completed 138 rounds. The team representative, who is a city government employee, joyfully said, "We practiced together as a team, including morning training and muscle training sessions from 7:00 a.m. We are glad to have achieved our goal."(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)