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Running like a monkey is serious business

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 01:55

Apr. 17 - Japanese monkey aficionado Kenichi Ito's affection for the animal made him develop a four-legged running style based on the African Patas monkey. Elly Park reports.

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Limbering up in the suburbs of Tokyo, this is the fastest human on four legs. Meet Kenichi Ito, a man who's dedicated almost a decade of his life perfecting a running style resembling that of a monkey. Speeding away 100 meters in just under 20 seconds, his current role-model is the African Patas monkey. But Ito says that his affection for simians started at an early age. SOUNDBITE: 29-Year-Old Four-Legged Runner Kenichi Ito, saying (Japanese) "You know my face and body kind of looks like a monkey, so from a young age everyone used to tease me, saying 'monkey, monkey'. But I wasn't really bothered because I really liked them, and somewhere inside of me I had this ambition to adopt one of their traits. So when I occasionally saw a monkey that could run fast, I knew I'd found it." The 29-year-old scouts the internet drawing inspiration from other four-legged creatures. So far he has developed six distinct forms and his top-speed "gallop" even earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. But living out his passion isn't always easy. SOUNDBITE: 29-Year-Old Four-Legged Runner Kenichi Ito, saying (Japanese) "In the streets around here I get stopped by the police, so I went up into the mountains for about a month for a kind of four-legged running training camp. But on the first day, a hunter mistook me for a wild boar, and he tried to shoot me." Conventional or not, Ito's lifestyle has proven to be inspirational as he's converted about 100 others across seven countries. As for Ito, living on four limbs continues to be serious monkey business. Elly Park, Reuters.

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Running like a monkey is serious business

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 01:55