While sitting in an office wheelie chair, have you ever felt the impulse to dig your heels into the floor and push yourself as far as you can? Wouldn’t the feeling of coasting along on those wheels feel good, feel like freedom?

Do you feel you don’t incorporate enough leg exercises in your life?

Does the linear-ness of the ILC compel you to travel in straight lines?

The perfect event is waiting for you: the ISU-1 GP in Esashi!

“Isu” means “chair” and GP stands for Grand Prix, in a play on words from the F-1 Grand Prix. In this race, team members scoot around along a city street on office chairs as fast as they can/as fast as they want. This is an endurance event that lasts for two hours(!), with the winning team performing the most round trips around the cone-marked course. The ISU-1 GP started in Kyoto in 2010 as a way to liven up a shopping street, and the event is gaining popularity with 14 events this year held in various cities in Japan.

The 4th ISU-1 GP held in Esashi, Oshu City, Iwate Prefecture, took place on July 6th, and we were one of the teams! The three members of our team were Koji Sato, who’s working in Oshu City for community revitalization (a “community reactivating cooperator squad” member), myself (Anna) and fellow Kitakami Times author/founder Amanda Wayama of Iwate Prefecture.

Our name was team “My Pace,” and we were not expecting to win any fancy office chairs or bags of rice. Bedecked with the required safety gear of helmets, knee and elbow pads, our mission was simple: to make it through the two hour race by scooting as slowly as we wanted, while dodging the young men and women rocketing past us on a battle for the prizes. Not only were we somehow not last, and not only did the slightly rickety chair from Sato-san’s office survive the experience, we also enjoyed the most refreshing cold beer and food of the summer post-race at an outdoor izakaya bar stand nearby.

I hear that CERN has some lonely chairs. If future ILC facilities have lonely chairs and those chairs have wheels, why not accompany the chairs to the ISU-1 GP in Esashi for fun and plenty of exercise?






2時間(!)走り続けて、コーンで示されたコースを何週回れるのかを競います。2010年に京都で「商店街をにぎやかにしたい。」という理由で初めて開催されたISU-1 GPを皮切りに人気が高まりつつあり、今年、日本国内14か所で開催される予定です。

今年7月6日、岩手県奥州市の江刺地区で、4回目の「いす1-グランプリ奥州えさし大会」が開催され、我々ILC関係者も参加しました。チームの3名は「奥州市地域おこし協力隊」の佐藤幸治さん、著者のアンナ、そしてKitakami Timesの筆者のひとりで創設者でもある岩手県庁の和山アマンダさんです。