Although the video apparently has been floating around the Internet for a bit, the clip of a Japanese game show with treadmill racing just crossed our desks and left us with mouths agape.
Competitors are on large side-by-side treadmill belts so each has the equivalent of more than a lane on a track to run, hobble, hop or skip toward a “goal” that is a stationary red swath at the far end of the belt. The participants in several rounds on the nearly four-minute video are (thankfully) fully outfitted in helmets and knee pads but are otherwise not truly dressed for athletics – not uncommon on these rather oddball Japanese game shows. Women are in frilly dress, kimonos and short skirts with garter belts. Men are in business suits, slacks and vests, or Speedos (yes, really).
They trot at a rather jaunty pace trying to outrun the treadmill to reach the finish line that is perhaps 15 feet from the start. “Hurdles” made of paper are set up which, since we don’t understand the ongoing Japanese commentary or the cheering audience, we are not sure if they are supposed to jump (many try) or just plow through them (many do that too).
If they fall flat, the moving belt spits then off the back of the machine into what looks like a thick bed of fluffy flour since their faces come up swathed in white.
Wanna get a look at the event on the “Haneru no Tobira” show? Click here.