Fukushima men complete 13,000-km marathon from Paris

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Three men from Fukushima Prefecture arrived on Thursday at their final goal in Tokyo after a year long transcontinental marathon from Paris to thank people around the world for helping Japan recover from the devastating earthquake of 2011.

The three who reached the goal at the Tokyo International Forum hall are Kenichi Hatori (71), his son Akihito (28), and Takenobu Sugama (50), all from the city of Sukagawa in the prefecture.

"The marathon was to show our gratitude for the support our country has received after the big disaster, but people from around the world instead gave us cheers," Hatori, the chairman of used car dealer Gulliver International Co, said after reaching the goal.

The three left Paris on June 25 last year and ran roughly 13,300 kilometers through 14 countries including Japan along with an accompanying vehicle with a banner with a message in English and French thanking people for support for Japan. They ran an average of 40 kilometers per day and rested one day per week.

After traversing Europe and Asia, they arrived in Beijing on July 6 and moved to Japan.

Leaving Sapporo on July 10, they crossed from Hokkaido in northern Japan to the main island of Honshu on a ferry and headed south for Tokyo through northeastern prefectures including Fukushima.

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