Wellington’s representative will travel to Japan for a week, all expenses paid, staying in both hotel and home-stay accommodation with a Japanese family. Aside from taking part in the flat-course marathon, the runners will have the opportunity visit local attractions and experience Japanese culture up close.
Thanks to its sister city relationship with Sakai, Wellington has been offered the opportunity to send two representatives to the marathon each year since 1994. Athletes from Sakai’s other sister cities, including Berkeley in the United States and Lianyungang in China, also travel to run the marathon. Up to 5000 competitors participate every year, with 100 places reserved for foreign applicants. The marathon follows a route through Sakai and the other eight cities and four towns that make up the Senshu area in the south of Osaka.
“This is an amazing opportunity, and we’re so pleased that through Sakai’s generosity, we’ve had such a long involvement with the marathon” says Aiko Collins, the Council’s International Relations Project officer.
It’s a unique opportunity for a lucky Wellingtonian to act as an ambassador for our fantastic city, to learn a little about Japanese culture, and to take part in an exciting and challenging marathon.”
The selection panel are looking for candidates who are keen to be ambassadors for Wellington, but only regular runners, already in training, need apply. The successful applicant will need to have completed at least two marathons, and be capable of finishing the wintry Senshu Marathon in less than four hours.
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed and finalists will go into a draw to win.
Application forms can be found at Wellington City Council service centre, libraries, swimming pools and recreation centres, Sport Wellington, and the Japanese Information and Cultural Centre.
Listen to Newstalk ZB’s ‘All Sports Breakfast’ between 7am and 9am on Saturday 7 November when winner will be announced.