On December 14th, AKB48’s Akimoto Sayaka attended a press conference for the release of the “Tokyo Marathon 2012 Official Guidebook”. Akimoto announced that she would be participating in the “Tokyo Marathon 2012” on February 26th, which will be her second consecutive year to run in the marathon.
Last time Akimoto ran the marathon as a ‘restart’ to her life after being caught up in a scandal. This year Akimoto plans to be a charity runner, “I want to show my thanks through running. Last year I was at the back of the pack, this time I want to finish in under 6 hours.”
The Tokyo Marathon began back in 2007 this year charities can run under the broad “connection” theme. Under the main theme they set up a cooperative group for five smaller themes: Family, Future, Life, Dreams, and Livelihood. When someone donates 100,000 yen (~1,280 USD) they will be able to participate as a “charity runner”.
Akimoto whose mother is from the Philippines, has decided to send her donations to the “Charity to Connect Lives” which is to support the poor villages that are in need of medical services. Akimoto explained her decision for running again after her success last year, “The members and fans have been asking me ‘Aren’t you going to run this year?’ and I honestly was thinking about it until the last minute. I was able to have a complete restart thanks to the Tokyo Marathon last year, so I want to return the favor this year.”
She spoke about which members she would like to run together with, “I think I could run better if I had Oshima Yuko-chan spanking my butt.” Though AKB48’s activities will get extremely busy during the year-end and New Year season, Akimoto said with sparkling eyes, “You can always find the time to do things. This time I will get a load on it and change my eating habits.”
Akimoto also got 5th place during AKB48’s “Janken Tournament” this past September. She innocently commented on being a Senbatsu Member for their new single ‘Ue Kara MARIKO’, “Coming in 5th was quite nice. Maybe I’ll get center next time?”source