The Tokyo Marathon was held February 28, and over 36,000 racers joined in, running the 26.2 miles through the nation’s capital.
Coming in tenth place with a 2:11:34 finish and placing second among Japanese runners was 19-year-old Yuta Shimoda. The secret of his success? Apparently, being an anime fan helped out.
Shimoda, who set a new marathon record for Japanese runners under 20, found motivation in those last crucial miles in the fact the finish line was at Tokyo Big Sight, the convention center that holds the twice-annual Comic Market doujinshi festival.
“It’s a sacred place for me. I live really far away and don’t get to go often, so I got really pumped when I got close,” explained Shimoda post-race.
Shimoda, who ran for his university Aoyama Gakuin, has previously been featured on several Japanese TV shows explaining his love of anime and showing off his collection of anime apparel.
Shimoda’s favorite is apparently Idolmaster. He explained in a tweet back in 2015 that Idolmaster motivates him to work hard on the track and feel the meaning of life.