In the small town of Saitama Prefecture, Hanyu, racers competed in a grand pix. Participants raced not on their feet or on other modes of vehicles, but on ‘isu’- office chairs. Hanyu is only sixty kilometers north of Tokyo, hence the city has also become a popular layover destination on the way to Tokyo.
The event is inspired by other endurance races such as Formula One and Le Mans racing; in this event teams of three race in laps of a 200-meter course. The race of office chairs was first started in Kyoto by Tsuyoshi Tahara in 2009. The race featured in ten different grand pixes in Japan this year.
The strategy used by participants is to propel backward on their chairs. Although sitting on an office chair, just like a day from the work week, competitors did not choose to wear business outfits, instead, they wore more comfortable outfits suited for the competition.
The event took place on a summer morning, which played a key role in the racer’s performance. According to reports, even the most experienced participants struggled with the tricky course, as teams tried to complete most laps of the course in two hours. Although the race did not test physical strength to the core, the activity was indeed an endurance test, with many racers falling backward from the chair during the race, and pushing themselves to keep going.
The winners took home a bag of local rice and finished off the vent by spraying and popping champion bottles, taking inspiration from Formula One.