memorial

40th

MEMORIAL

the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon
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What is
the Oita
International
Wheelchair Marathon?

In commemoration of the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981, this event, which started as the world's first "international wheelchair-only marathon, " has been held every year and is highly rated both in Japan and abroad as the world's largest and highest-level competition.

History of
the Oita
International
Wheelchair Marathon

Birth of the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon

On the occasion of the Boston Marathon accepting the world's first wheelchair runner in 1975, wheelchair users in Oita Prefecture began to request that they be allowed to participate in the Beppu-Oita Marathon. This could not be realized because of the difficulties for wheelchair users to race alongside physically unimpaired people. However, in 1981 Dr. Nakamura proposed "the world's first wheelchair-only marathon event". On November 1, 1981, 117 people from 15countries participated in the memorable 1st Oita International Wheelchair Marathon.

Dr. Yutaka Nakamura

In 1952, Dr. Nakamura Yutaka entered the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Kyushu University School of Medicine, and studied under Professor Amako Tamikazu, who advocated research on rehabilitation. In 1958, in order to promote the independence of people with physical impairments, Dr. Nakamura devoted himself to holding the "1st Oita Prefectural Sports Festival for People with Physical Impairments” and the Tokyo Paralympics, which were held in 1964. He was head of the Japanese team at the Tokyo Paralympics. In 1965, he established "Sun Industries” with the motto "No Charity, but a Chance!". Through the employment of people with physical impairments and the promotion of parasports, Dr. Nakamura greatly contributed to the creation of a society in which people both with and without disabilities can coexist.

  • 1981

    Holding of the 1st convention

    Only a half marathon was held at the first event. At the goal of this race, Georg Freund of Austria and Jim Knaub of the United States held hands and crossed the finish line together. However, the organizers said, "This race is a competition for time. It's a race, not just recreation, "so Freund was given 1stplaceand Knaub was placed in 2nd, strongly emphasizing that this was a competitive event.

  • 1983

    Introduction of Marathon and Official Recognition by International Sports Organizations

    The (full) marathon distance was added at the 3rdrace held on November 13th, 1983. At the same time, the event became officially recognized by the Stoke-Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation. (From the 27thrace, it was officially recognized by the World Paralympic Committee, and since the 37thrace, the event has been held as an Officially Sanctioned Event of the World Para Athletics Federation.)

  • 1999

    Setting of The World Record

    At the 19thrace held on October 31st, 1999, Heinz Frei of Switzerland set a new world record of 1 hour 20 minutes 14 seconds, winning Oita for the seventh consecutive time and ninth time overall. As of September 2021, this world record for the fastest class of competition has not been broken.

  • 2006

    First Win by a Japanese Racer

    The long-awaited first win by a Japanese competitor was achieved at the 26thevent held on October 26th, 2006, when Sasahara Hiroki set a new (then) Japan record of 1hour 24minutes 15secondsin the marathon men’s T53/54 class to take the victory.

  • 2016

    Live television Broadcast

    On October 30th, 2016, the 36thrace was broadcast live on national television (OBS and BS-TBS) for the first time in history.

Official Symbol

Design

The official symbol of the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon is based on a design by Professor Okura Yoshio of Oita Prefectural College of the Arts (Currently: Oita Prefectural College of Arts and Culture) and established by the race organizers at the 2ndrace in 1982. This mark symbolizes two people holding hands, vowing solidarity and cooperation. The laurel leaves surrounding them represent victory and fellowship.

Background

The symbol was created to raise understanding and cooperation for the event when it was decided to continue the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon after its first holding in the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981.

Official Logo

Design

The official logo of the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon was established by the race organizers at the 30thcommemorative event in 2010. This logo, which is shaped like Oita Prefecture tilted at a 30degree angle and shows an athlete dashing powerfully toward the finish in its racer, has continued to be used since it was established in commemoration of the 30thevent.

Background

This logo was first drafted by Uematsu Momoko, who at the time was an intern in the Oita Prefecture Disability Welfare Division. She then asked the members of the Oita University Manga Research Club, of which she was chairperson, to finalize it, and a graduate of the club, Higuma Takeshi (Kokonoe Town) created the final version based on the draft. As a result, the official logo was the combined efforts of both of them and was completed in April 2011.

Official Mascot Character
“Susumu-kun”

Design and production background

The average speed in a wheelchair marathon is 30-40 kph, which is the same speed as the Asian Black Bear and the Brown Bear. This character, called Susumu-kun, was designed as the official mascot for the 5thevent held in 1985 with the aim of encouraging the participating athletes to “be brave and fast like a bear as they race to the goal”.

MOVIE
記念動画

大分国際車いすマラソン 第40回記念ムービー
『大分一丸 ゴールはひとりひとりにある』

OFFICIAL PARTNERS

オムロン株式会社
ソニーグループ株式会社
本田技研工業株式会社 株式会社本田技術研究所
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株式会社別大興産
医療法人社団 唱和会 明野中央病院
東京海上日動火災保険株式会社
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