The Yamathon event started on the back of a successful Sea-to-Summit challenge, which gave us the belief that we can achieve so much more as a volunteer group if we put our minds to it. There are also thousands of crazy people like the IVG Crew who love pain, or put more appropiately, enjoy the satisfaction of completing something which they would never have previously thought of doing. Endurance challenges are extremely popular these days - just look at the Tokyo Marathon. The idea of the Yamathon came about due to all these ideas and was also inspired by the Oxfam Trailwalker, an event where teams of four people put themselves through all sorts of pain to walk/run up & down mountains in 48 hours.
Our inaugural event in November 2010 saw 110 people and 29 teams compete on what turned out to be the perfect Autumn day to explore Tokyo. With the help of our participants, we managed to raise 129,000 JPY for Oxfam Japan's Democratic Republic of Congo relief effort.
Disaster struck in March 2011 as the Tohuku Earthquake and the Tsunami that followed, destroyed the lives of millions of people here in Japan. In April 2011, 100 teams and 355 people came together and showed their community spirit in raising over 1 million JPY for Oxfam Japan's Tohoku relief effort.
The fun continued all the way into November 2011 as 86 teams and 318 people battled their way through tough weather conditions to complete the Yamathon circle. We saw a different side to our competitors as the pouring rain inspired over 60 teams into finishing the event and raising over 600,000 JPY for Oxfam Japan's East Africa appeal.
Our last Tokyo Yamathon in April 2012 saw beautiful blue skies dominate Tokyo's skyline as 275 sporting competitors of all ages walked and ran around the Yamanote line and another 600,000 JPY was donated to Oxfam Japan's Sahel appeal thanks to the efforts of our wonderful participants.
And our Tokyo Yamathon journey continues...