Frostbite Road Race reunites neighboring communities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brooklyn Golightly
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Team Yokota held its 42nd Frostbite Road Race, the first held in three years due to COVID-19 restrictions, on a course that wove throughout the base on Jan. 22, 2023.

The run began in 1981 and has since gathered a large following, and now sits as one of the top 100 road races held in Japan.

“More than 400 U.S. and JASDF Airmen volunteers helped make this event a reality,” said Master Sgt. Tobi Wagner, 730th Air Mobility Squadron passenger services NCOIC and Frostbite Road Race event coordinator. “We’re so excited to welcome our Japanese partners back onto base after three long years, as we can finally enjoy this run and future events like it together as a community.”

More than 7,000 local community members and U.S. personnel participated in the 3-tier event, and many more attended to cheer on the runners while taking part in food and offerings from local vendors supporting the event.

“It takes true dedication and determination to sign-up and prepare for such an event as this,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Andrew Roddan, 374th Airlift Wing commander. “Thousands of participants are joining us, both U.S. and Japanese runners have gathered to partake in a 2000-meter family run, a two-kilometer kids run, a five-kilometer and a half-marathon.”

Over 5,000 participants ran in the half-marathon, more than 1,000 runners participated in the 2K kids run and approximately 1,600 traversed the 5K run while enduring chilling temperatures.

“Events like this truly show the camaraderie and cooperation between the United States and Japan,” said Roddan. “This event also speaks to the close longstanding relationship Yokota shares with its surrounding communities.”