Hsinchu County Pokémon Run took the stage at Hsinchu County Sports Stadium on September 4th. An 8-metre tall inflatable Pikachu, holiday style Pikachu, Charmander, Eevee, Pichu and other Pokémon figure props attracted 5000 participants to the event. Some of runners dressed up as various Pokémon characters, making the scene like a Pokémon amusement park.
Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun, who fired the gun to start the run, said that the county government obtained exclusive license from The Pokémon Company to hold the world’s first Pokémon running race; The Pokémon Company not only loaned Pokémon figures and other props, but also sent their Chief Operating Officer Masami Tanaka to Taiwan to attend the event in person. The county government also enlisted Malaysia singer Chen Kaixuan to serve as event ambassador.
Magistrate Chiu stated that to continue to develop Taiwan Comics Dream Park tourism, the county government plans to open a special Pokémon store in Zhudong Animation and Comic Creative Park and will, in the future, strive to strengthen links between local and international anime and manga circles so that anime and manga become a link in the culture based creativity industry and drive local economic development.
The run had 3.5 and 10 kilometers categories. Many participants attended with their families and friends, wearing Pikachu t-shirts and queuing to have their photograph taken with the figures. Some also carrying their own Pikachu dolls or Pikachu shaped balloons with them as they ran. Many fans from far places also came to see the cute Pikachu. Ruirui, a sufferer of the rare disease Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome, and his dad Lu Jun-liang completed their 50th family run. The father and son pair encouraged all along the way by other participants.