runtastic Official App Partner of Social Marathon “Cialthon” in Japan

There is a new marathon trend in Japan called “Cialthon.” It stands for Social Marathon and is based on a concept created by Kyo Satani from the company PAXi inc. (Tokyo, Japan). runtastic is now an official App Partner of this unique project!
We had a brief interview with Kyo Satani and asked him to share the basic concept of this project with runtastic users.runtastic: Can you explain the concept of “Cialthon” to runtastic users?Kyo: Cialthon stands for Social Marathon. It is a new type of marathon which puts more value on the social connections and communication among participants and local people. Memories are more important than time results. By sharing experiences gained during this event with the other participants, we tend to increase the joy of running even more.

In most of the current marathon races, one’s finishing time is the ultimate indicator of success; however, we consider that just one factor. Running can motivate us to go out and enjoy fresh air and sunshine in the early morning. Sometimes while running we come up to a curious shop which we have never noticed before. We can even be so flexible as to change our route or distance according to the mood of the day.

As an event organizer, I wanted to offer a framework encouraging people to gather and enjoy marathoning in an alternative way. Therefore, Cialthon does not have a fixed course. Duration and distance are totally up to each participant. Local shops and restaurants, which support this concept, are waiting for runners in order to offer their foods, drinks and other products and services. A Cialthon organizer may simply set a goal point and time in order to celebrate together with a delicious dinner, in which all the participants share their experiences of the day. The runner with the most exciting story is the winner!

runtastic: How did you develop such a great idea? What was your inspiration?

Kyo: There is a well-known marathon event in Bordeaux (France) called Marathon du Medoc. As I love both running and a good party, last year I decided to take part in this event – and every year moving forward! My first run in the Medoc marathon completely shocked and impressed me! Runners drinking wine during the competition, chatting with people they not really know, and so on… I made up my mind then and there to organize a similar event in Japan.

In the beginning, I faced various obstacles, such as: traffic control, setting of the course route, and administration of the participants. In Japan, there has been a marathon trend for many years, but most of the races are very competitive and difficult to be selected as a participant. For example, so many people sign-up to run the Tokyo Marathon that only 1 person among 10 is selected in a raffle and allowed to participate! Furthermore, these competitions advertise their “nice view,” however, do participants really get to enjoy the view when they’re too focused to see anything but concrete? Don’t participants want to have a chat with local people cheering for the runners, instead of just waving their hands and quickly passing by?

In addition to running experiences, as owner of the company which manages a restaurant, paxi house tokyo, and a coworking space, PAX Coworking, I have learned the power of “communication with unknown people,” who happen to sit beside you. It is where new, previously unknown value or surprising ideas spring to life!

All these thoughts and experiences brought me to the basic concept of Cialthon. Through this project, I would like to offer an opportunity where people come to talk with each other “just because they both happen to be there.”

runtastic: What is your plan for the next months? Do you already have a final target for your project in your mind?

Kyo: Only 8 months have passed since the first Cialthon event and we have been covered by numerous media outlets because of our unique approach. Everyone who has been introduced to this concept has become a great supporter, and for this year alone, we already have 10 cities throughout Japan organizing local Cialthon events! Next year we aim to spread this idea abroad. So, dear runtastic users, if you are interested in organising a Cialthon event in your city, please contact me NOW!

Here is the itinerary for Cialthon events in Japan:
26.02.2012 Kyodo-Marathon (complete)
14.04.2012 Yokohama Cialthon (complete)
21.04.2012 Sumida Cialthon (complete)
01.07.2012 Maebashi Cialthon (complete)
30.09.2012 Sapporo Cialthon (complete)
13.10.2012 Niigata Cialthon (complete)
10.11.2012 Yokohama Cialthon
24.11.2012 Beppu Cialthon
25.11.2012 Kobe Cialthon

Dates yet to be defined:
Kamiyama Cialthon
Ichinomiya Cialthon
Tomonoura Cialthon
Suwa Cialthon
Sendai Cialthon
Ishinomaki Cialthon

If you are interested in participating or organizing Cialthon events in your cities, please feel free to contact Kyo!



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