For the past 13 years, the Japan Run and Japan Day @ Central Park have brought together runners and the Japanese community for an annual morning of fitness, fun, and celebration of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. The events happen on Mother’s Day, adding to their family-friendly nature as they attract moms (and dads) and kids of all ages.
This year’s Japan Run took place in the rain—ranging from a light spatter to a cold downpour—but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the runners, who included not only adults in the four-mile race but also hundreds of children ages 2–11 enjoying activities such as animal runs and Simon Says as well as short dashes in the free Rising New York Road Runners at the Japan Run youth event.
New York City is home to about 20,000 people of Japanese ancestry, and the community has a rich history of sharing its culture with the larger population. Japan Day @ Central Park was founded in 2007 to promote deeper understanding of Japanese culture and to say, “Thank you, New York!”
This year's Japan Day festival featured a wide range of traditional and family-friendly activities including kabuki face painting, try-on yukata (a summer kimono), and origami; free samplings of onigiri (rice balls), gyoza (dumplings), and other yummies; and musical and artistic entertainment. The festival provided the perfect ahhhh opportunity for runners who’ve just dashed through puddles for four miles or peered and cheered from under umbrellas along the sidelines.
NYRR’s spring racing season is in full stride, so if you ran today’s race and loved it (or didn’t run and want to get in on the upcoming action), log into your NYRR dashboard and sign up for future races (including NYRR Virtual Racing opportunities) all the way through the end of 2019!