Break out your kilt for Highland Games at Fuji
May 5, 2007
U.S. Marines and sailors donning Scottish kilts are returning to Japan next month. The second annual Camp Fuji Highland Games are set for May 13. Gates open at 7:30 a.m. with events starting at 8 a.m.
Organizers are expanding this year’s games to include participants from other U.S. bases on the Kanto Plain, Department of Defense civilians, area Japan Self-Defense Force garrisons and the local community.
Male and female athletes ages 18 and older may register for $25, or 2,500 yen. The event, free to the public, will coincide with Mother’s Day.
“We’re hoping for more spectators this year,” Camp Fuji athletic director Kerrie Smith said. “We’re really excited to build on our previous event, and looking for bigger and better things.”
About 120 competitors took part in the inaugural games. Smith said the field could grow to 200 this year.
They’ll battle in wrestling, tug-of-war, a “kilted” relay race and five-on-five soccer. About 20 others in the heavyweight division also will engage in more traditional Gaelic contests such as the caber toss, hammer throw, “weight for height” (participants heave a 46-pound mace-like object over a bar several feet above their heads) and “putting the stone” — similar to the shot put but carried out with a 22-pound rock from Scotland.
Sgt. Ryan Frazier, last year’s overall heavyweight champion, is back to defend his crown. That victory qualified him for the Japan Scottish Highland Games last October in Chiba prefecture, where he finished second.
Competitors may sign up the day of the Camp Fuji games, but advance registration is encouraged.
For a registration form or more information, contact Kerrie Smith at DSN 224-8488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.