3rd Annual Memorial Race - Tokyo Marathon
Organized by: Ayako Sawanobori
EVENT DATE Feb 28, 2016
For my 3rd Annual Memorial Race to honor my mother, I have decided to raise money for Special Olympics Japan and run the 2016 Tokyo Marathon, bringing it back to my birthplace!
As many of you know, training for my first marathon (Boston '14) became a personal project of mine in an effort to regain my health after I cared for my sick mother, who lost her battle to cancer in 2013. When I had difficulty getting back to life after moving back to San Francisco, struggling with my own mental & physical health problems, my boss approached me one day saying "You need to run; that's what you do!" After more than 9 long months without breaking a sweat, I signed up for my first marathon. Lacing up those running shoes again kickstarted my path to healing, and I've decided to dedicate one challenge to my mother each Spring.
This year, I am raising money for Special Olympics Japan. As a former track & field coach for Special Olympics MA and a lifelong athlete, I am passionate for this cause and excited to run for them-- I truly believe that everyone is able in their own ways to participate and thrive in athletics!
I'll always remember how my mom was my biggest supporter and loudest cheerleader at my track meets. This year's dedication will be especially meaningful, racing 26.2 miles through the city where I was born and my parents spent more than half their lives. Not only that, my dad is making the 15hr flight to be there, I will get to see my brother and meet my newest niece, and my favorite auntie/uncle will be standing there with the rest of the city to cheer me on!
As I log the miles during training, I am reminded of my mother's unconditional encouragement, the resilience of the human spirit, and how I can support those in need of a little boost themselves. I hope you will join me in my journey to raise money for the Special Olympics and send me some virtual cheers!
Thank you, Ayako