Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

February 25, 2009

Produced by Amino-Value
“Virtual Tokyo Marathon 2009”
Select your favorite avatar and challenge the 42.195km run

Tokyo, Japan-- Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President: Taro Iwamoto) today announced the open of "Produced by Amino Value - Virtual Tokyo Marathon 2009" section on the Otsuka Pharmaceutical "Tokyo Marathon 2009" website. 'Virtual Tokyo Marathon 2009' enables participants to 'run' the Tokyo Marathon course in the guise of a customized avatar.

In 'Virtual Tokyo Marathon 2009', 42.195km of Tokyo Marathon course is divided into five stages. Participants input their own training distances, and their avatars will run the equivalent distance along the course, enabling the participants to enjoy the marathon virtually. Avatars have been given the ability to communicate with each other, sharing the camaraderie of running in the same 'space' as other competitors. The participants can also use this site as their training regimens which enable them to develop an enhanced awareness of their amount of training runs and frequencies, since their running distance is displayed graphically on the avatar's status screen.

Participants are able to 'run' the course in the form of favorite avatars, customizable from a selection of a maximum of 69 faces and hairstyles and a maximum of 74 costumes. Landmarks from the actual Tokyo Marathon Course such as Tokyo Tower and Asakusa Kaminarimon can be seen in the virtual course. The total 85 'events' are incorporated into the course for participants to enjoy the site alive, including live reports by a TV 'crew', cheering by enthusiastic fans at the start and finish lines and at various points along the course and replenishment of BCAA* beverage at aid stations. To introduce a game element, participants can use points issued for each event to obtain new costume and other items for their avatars.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical is an official sponsor of Tokyo Marathon 2009, where branch-chain amino-acid (BCAA) beverage Amino-Value will provide support for an estimated 35,000 runners as the Official Drink of the race.

  • *BCAA: Branched chain amino acids - valine, leucine, and isoleucine - essential amino acids that provide energy for muscle tissue. Double Amino Value, the official drink of Tokyo Marathon 2009, contains 4000mg of BCAA.

Based on its corporate philosophy of 'Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide', Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is dedicated to contributing to the health and wellbeing of people around the world.

Overview of "Virtual Tokyo Marathon" Produced by Amino-Value

Open Period Friday, February 26 through conclusion of Tokyo Marathon 2009
Course Description A virtual environment in which the 42.195km Tokyo Marathon 2009 course has been divided into 5 stages. Landmarks such as Tokyo Tower and Asakusa Kaminarimon mark actual points along the course.
How to participate the marathon After selecting an avatar and entering the required information, visitors can input their training distance and the avatar 'runs' the equivalent distance along the virtual course
Avatar types At the time of first registration, participants can select an avatar customizable from among 10 faces and hairstyles and 27 costumes. Based on the points issued for 'events' along the course, participants can obtain new costumes and other items, a maximum of 69 faces and 74 costumes, for the avatar.
Events Aid stations encouraging the intake of BCAA, essential for performance in a marathon event, cheering by enthusiastic fans and bands, and other 'events' occur at 85 points along the course, including the start and finish lines. Avatars accumulate points for every 'event'.
Finish line When a participant's total distance exceeds 42.195km, the finish line is crossed. Participants may return to 'run' the virtual marathon in second and third laps.
Other - Avatars are able to 'communicate' in the virtual environment. Comments can be viewed on personal pages or in 'message balloons' that can be displayed on the course with the cursor. - A search function to locate participating avatars is planned for the site.