21 Japanese pensioners will realise their dream of 15 years by flying to Scotland to take part in Baxters Loch Ness Marathon this autumn. Seasoned runners from the Tokyo-based Full Hyaku Club will descend on the Highland capital for the race on 25 September.
The oldest member of the contingent is 80-year-old Shigeru Asano, while Hitoshi Ishimori is the baby of the group at the tender age of 61. Full Hyaku Club member Tsutomu Kaji says his teammates cannot wait to arrive in Inverness.
He said: “They first heard about Loch Ness Marathon 15 years ago through a Japanese marathon magazine and they really wanted to go. But they were all working and just didn’t have the time to travel such a distance. Now they are all retired so they all have time to run. They have waited so long to be able to take part, and they are very excited. They are so looking forward to arriving in Scotland and seeing Loch Ness.”
Full Hyaku translates as ‘to run a marathon 100 times or more, and to do so happily’. All members must have run at least 100 marathons, and tend to run 26.2 miles every weekend.
Kaji added: “I am sure to have so many older marathon runners will be unusual at the Loch Ness Marathon, but even here in Japan the club is out of the ordinary.”
Guaranteed places are available for Loch Ness Marathon until 1 July, with charity, club and overseas places available thereafter. Entry for the 10K, 10K Corporate Challenge, 5K and Wee Nessie will remain open until September.
For more information visit the event website, or go to the Loch Ness Marathon Facebook or Twitter pages.