Every year we have an array of participants from elite runners to children to fundraisers prepared to go that extra step to get noticed. Here are some of their stories.
Chihiro Tanaka - Elite AthleteHailing from Hyogo Prefecture, Japan Chihiro Tanaka (42) started her athletics career in junior high school, after competing at a national level, she left the competition scene for five years. In 2002 she broke her personal record for the first time in four years, coming in 4th and becoming the (then) fastest woman in Japan to compete after having children. Among her other personal records, in 2003, she became the first Japanese woman to win the Hokkaido marathon twice. Giving birth to a daughter in 2005, she made a further comeback in 2006, returning to competitions in Japan and overseas.
Takeshi Niki - Elite AthleteRepresenting Kobe Gakuin University, Takeshi (19) made his full marathon debut in his hometown of Kobe in 2011. However, as an elementary school pupil he ran in the Honolulu marathon for five consecutive years. At his last appearance as a junior high school student, he won the under 14’s category, demonstrating his potential as a future competitor. He tried for a pace of 17 minutes per 5 kilometers at the first Kobe marathon, and eventually managed to break away from his group after the turning point. He’ll be aiming for the top spot this year when he will again run in the Kobe marathon.Reuben Kosgei - Elite Athlete (Olympic Gold Medalist)Growing up in Kenya, 32 year old father of one Mr Kosgei developed a passion for athletics at a young age and began participating in races throughout primary school and high school. The 2000 Sydney Olympics was privileged to see Mr Kosgei win the 3000m steeplechase at a ripe age of 21- the youngest in history. He then followed up this success with a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Deciding to turn his focus to marathons, he debuted at the Vienna Marathon in 2009. He went on to win the 2009 Sydney Herald City to Surf half marathon and finished third in last year’s Perth City to Surf 42km marathon in a time of 2 hours 19 minutes. Reuben won the 12km Run in last year's event.Alan Craigie - Elite AthleteAlan Criagie is a 27 year old Canberra based runner, who specialises in 5000m events. A recipient of the Laurel Wreath for 2011/2012, Mr Craigie is a valued member of his Canberra running club, and is seen by fellow competitors as one to beat. Mr Craigie is a regular at the Sydney Herald City to Surf, placing 17th in 2009 and improving drastically to 6th place in 2010 in the 12km event. 2010 was his first Perth City to Surf event, where he took out first place in the 12km event in a time of 36 minutes 56, outclassing Australian cross country champion Ethan Heywood, and proved a success story for the Sam Maxwell Sports Management Team.Tyler Byers - Elite Wheelchair AthleteSuffering from a congenital disability Sacral Agenesis, Tyler Byers began wheelchair racing in 1991 at the University of Arizona where he graduated in 2005 with a major in Engineering Mathematics. He is currently employed at an engineering firm in Alice Springs, where he has been living since 2008 with his wife and new born baby son.After suffering a wrist injury which required surgery in 2010, Mr Byers is only just returning to competition, which includes this year’s Chevron City to Surf for Activ 4km wheelchair event. In his courageous career, Mr Byers has been a valued USA Paralympics team member both in 2004 and 2008. He competed in the 800m and marathon events at the Paralympic games in Beijing, China and set the course record in the half marathon at Virginia Beach in 2006.
Tyler took home 1st place in the 4km Wheelchair in 2011.Richard Low - FundraiserRichard ran the 2011 half marathon dressed in a full bear suit. Starting out as a joke between work colleagues, Richard has decided to make things even more difficult for himself by participating whilst wearing a bear suit.The suit itself weighs approximately four kilograms and was purchased off eBay. Richard hopes that the awareness generated by wearing the suit will help him raise $10 000 for his chosen charity – Free the Bears, as part of the Activ Charity Challenge. Richard also hopes to teach people that one person can actually help make a difference in life, it’s just a matter of setting your goals and following through. He has promised to return in 2012.
Chevron City to Surf for Activ Official Website
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