Kahoku Shimpo Publishing Co. and Yahoo Japan Corporation will hold "Tour de Tohoku 2015" on Sunday, September 13, 2015. This will be the third "Tour de Tohoku", which is a cycling event held with the purpose of bequeathing the memory of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent restoration efforts to future generations.
"Tour de Tohoku" is aimed to be held continuously for about 10 years, increasing its size every year. In the first event held on November 3, 2013, a total of 1,316 cyclists biked through the Sanriku coastal area of Miyagi Prefecture, namely Ishinomaki city, Onagawa town and Minamisanriku town. In the second event, held on September 14 in the following year, Kesennnuma city, Miyagi Prefecture, was added to the new 220 km course. 2,959 cyclists participated, more than double the number of cyclists in the first event.
In the third event, "Tour de Tohoku 2015", a one-way course starting in Kesennuma city and finishing in Ishinomaki Senshu University (Ishinomaki city) will be newly added in order to enlarge the area to which people will visit, and to spread the economic effect of the event to a wider area.
In the last two events, Ishinomaki Senshu University was the start/finish point and 4 round-trip courses (60 km, 100 km, 170 km, 220 km) were prepared. The majority of the cyclists who participated in the long distance courses were advanced cyclists. The 170 km and 220 km long distance courses had their half-way marks in Minamisanriku town and Kesennuma city, which are far away from Ishinomaki city. By providing a one-way course this time, more people will be able to cycle to Minamisanriku town and Kesennuma city, and visitors to these sites will not be limited to advanced cyclists. Also, the number of participating cyclists will be increased from last year, and events are scheduled to be held in Ishinomaki Senshu University, the main venue, for the enjoyment of people accompanying the cyclists and local people.
The details of the event are scheduled to be released in April. Entries for cyclists and "Tour de Tohoku Crews" (event volunteers) are scheduled to begin in May.
"Tour de Tohoku" will continue to aim to be a cycling event through which more people will visit the disaster affected areas, understand the charms and present situation of Tohoku, and experience the road to reconstruction.
<Purpose of "Tour de Tohoku">
To bequeath the memory of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent restoration efforts to future generations.
<Objectives of "Tour de Tohoku">
1. To continuously hold the event for about 10 years.
2. In light of the progress of road reconstructions, to incorporate a competitive race to the event, and to expand the venues to Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures so that the event will become an event of the "Tohoku" region.
3. To allocate the event income to subsidies for promoting the use of bicycles, and for developing bicycle related infrastructure in the disaster affected areas.
4. To hold a local event enjoyable also to those accompanying the cyclists.
5. To construct a structure so that people not visiting the sites can also participate in the event in the form of donations. To introduce auctions using the internet and crowdfunding so that donations can be raised, not only from corporations, but also from individuals and from abroad.
6. To transmit the status of the disaster affected areas in cooperation with local newspapers, internet, TV, etc.