A record fifteen thousand runners aged between 16 and 82, and from several countries, took part in the fourteenth Ome Marathon in Japan (17 February).
SV: Blind contestant Kenji Katayore(nearest camera) walking to check-in point with a friend
CU: Kenji Katayore registering to participate in race and CU register. (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM: Crowd applauding TO Kenji Katayore and helper
GV: Kenji Katayore and helper leaving start and running along road.
AV: 15,000 other runners leaving start
AV: Marathon runners through streets
AV: Runners along coastal road
AV: Runners through streets and over bridge
GV: Randy Thomas of United States and other runners arrive at finish
SV: Exhausted runners and girl runner limping across finish (2 shots)
CU: Kenji Katayore and helper being cheered as they arrive at finish. (2 shots)
CU: Kenji Katayore and helper running past camera after finish.
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Background: A record fifteen thousand runners aged between 16 and 82, and from several countries, took part in the fourteenth Ome Marathon in Japan (17 February). Among them was a runner who showed particular tenacity and courage.
SYNOPSIS: Kenji Katayore is blind. to comply with the race rules he was accompanied by a friend who ran with him, and who also helped him register for the race.
Kenji was given special encouragement when he started about ten minutes after the scheduled time. Aged 30, he is a teacher at a school for the blind.
The fifteen thousand starters included nearly thirteen thousand who took part in the 30-kilometre (18.6 mile) marathon distance, and about tow thousand others who ran a shorter course of ten kilometres (6.2 miles).
It was the largest field in the Ome Marathon's 14-race history although about five thousand applications were refused by the organisers. Officials said they adopted a regulation to limit the number of contestants to help avoid accidents like heart attacks during the race.
Randy Thomas of the United States was the first to finish. His time of one hour, thirty minutes and forty-four seconds beat the race record by forty-nine seconds.
For thousands of runners, however, the question of winning did not arise. Kenji Katayore was more concerned to defy his handicap, and many others were also content to conquer the personal challenges faced by the long distance runner.