EAST ASIAChika Kanai, 34
Hometown: Saitama, Japan
Career: Food Chemist
Distance logged per week: 53 kilometers (32 miles)
Favorite shoe? Adidas AdiZero.
Ideal running route? Anywhere with greenery, especially along a river or in a place where I'm completely sur?rounded by nature.
Must-have apparel? CW-X compression shirts and tights.
Go-to cross-training activity? Stretching.
Favorite fuel? Fruits, vegetables and vegetable juice. I try to eat natural food as often as possible.
Favorite race? The Obuse Half Marathon in Japan and the Berlin Marathon.
Chika Kanai grew up in Japan but started running while studying at the University of British Columbia. One day, after her Aikido practice, she noticed a flyer for the Vancouver Sun 10K. Chika and her roommate signed up for the race, and she immediately fell in love with running.
After finishing school and moving back to Japan, Chika joined the Namban Rengo (which translates as Barbarian Horde), an international running club based in Tokyo. "The Japanese love to run," Chika explains, evidenced by the 50 to 60 members who show up for the club's weekly workouts.
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Jayme Moye, award-winning freelance journalist, writes about the people, places, ideas and events that are changing the way we think about our world. Find her at jaymemoye.com.