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Last Sunday, the eighth iteration of the Tokyo Marathon was held, with Kenyan Dickson Chumba and Ethiopian Tirfi Tsegaye setting new men’s and women’s course records, respectively. In fact, the two African nations dominated the race, with citizens accounting for the top seven male finishers as well as the first five women to cross the finish line.

However, somewhere farther back in the pack plenty of attention was given to a Japanese runner dressed as one of history’s most famous natives of the Middle East: Jesus.

Japan’s always had a bit of a thing for distance running. Every year on January 2 and 3 people across the country tune in to watch the annual college relay race from Tokyo to Hakone (home to hot springs, views of Mt. Fuji, and Evangelion license plates), and televised marathons have been pulling in big ratings since distance runner Naoko Takahashi won the gold medal for the marathon at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Another thing Japan loves is cosplay, and any sizeable footrace is bound to attract a few costumed participants. One runner in the most recent Tokyo Marathon decided to pass on the obvious choice of dressing up as a TV or anime character and instead took his costuming inspiration from one of history’s most prominent religious figures.

▼ Crown of Thorns? Check. Mosaic of Eyes? Check.

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The runner went all-out in his attempt to take on the form of Mr. Christ, as both his facial hair and long, flowing locks seem to be genuine. While there’s no way to tell if he purposely starved himself for the role, his emaciated look does indeed mesh with the popular image of the son of God.

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But perhaps the most startling dedication to historical accuracy came in the runner’s choice of footwear, or more specifically his lack thereof.

▼ No anachronistic Nikes or Asics here

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Japanese Internet users were both shocked and amused, although one wondered how the man dealt with spending hours outside during the fierce cold snap that the Tokyo area has been going through. Another expressed his worry for Marathon Jesus’ mortal soles, commenting, “You can really mess your feet up running barefoot on concrete.”

Sadly, the uniquely-attired runner didn’t stick around the finish line multiplying rice balls and turning water into cups of Pocari Sweat sports drink. Marathon Jesus hasn’t been seen since the end of the race, leading some to wonder if he wasn’t just passing through on his way to Golgotha.

▼ We prefer the decidedly more light-hearted theory that he was just running back to the apartment he shares with Buddha in Tachikawa.

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Related: The Chambers website
Source: Nikita Sosoku, Byokan Sunday
Top image: Livedoor
Insert images: Nikita Sosoku, Livedoor