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2021 Tokyo Marathon Non-Start

As the 2021 Abbott World Marathon Majors go ahead, here's an update on the one that didn't. © 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
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February's Ome 30 km Road Race Canceled Due to Pandemic

On Oct. 14 the organizers of Tokyo's Ome 30 km Road Race announced that the popular event's 55th running, scheduled for Feb. 20, 2022, will not go ahead and will instead be postponed a year. Organizers said that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic they had concerns about being able to stage the event in a way safe for runners, local residents, race staff and volunteers. The Ome 30 km's 55th running was originally scheduled for February, 2021 but was postponed to 2022, meaning the new decision will in effect be a two-year postponement.  The Ome 30 km Road Race was founded in 1967. Starting in the western Tokyo suburb of Ome, the race follows a mountainous route along the upper Tama River gorge and back. Featuring both 30 km and 10 km races, the race seen wins from Olympic gold medalists like Naoko Takahashi  and Mizuki Noguchi , and is one of Japan's most popular races for amateur runners, with over 12,000 finishers every year. In place of the 2022 event, organizers

Kanazawa Marathon to Stop Runners at 21 Locations Due to Election

Due to be held the same day as voting in the upcoming election for the House of Representatives, runners at the Kanazawa Marathon can expect to be stopped at over 20 intersections on the course in order to allow voters on their way to the polls to pass without interference.  Scheduled to be held Oct. 31 after last year's race was canceled, the Kanazawa Marathon will take place while voting polls for the House of Representatives election are open. On race day, road closures for the marathon will be in place for up to 6 hours, but the locations of 14 polling stations on the course mean that voters will need to be able to cross through intersections. 50,000 voters are expected to use these locations, and while city officials are calling for people to utilize early voting or polling stations not affected by road closures then have made the decision to place security personnel at 21 intersections to stop runners when necessary. The Kanazawa Marathon already has this policy in place at

Weekend Overseas Marathon Results

With the Tokyo Marathon having canceled due to guidelines written in the pre-vaccine era some of Japan's top marathoners have had to go overseas this season. Men's national record holder Kengo Suzuki  (Fujitsu) was at Sunday's Chicago Marathon . Suzuki seemed to be staying calm in the lead group, but when the real move came he didn't have the same kind of closing speed he had at March's Lake Biwa Marathon and was left behind by the lead true. Suzuki ended up 4th in 2:08:50, the fastest time by a Japanese outside Japan so far this year. Seifu Tura Abdiwak  (Ethiopia) took 1st in 2:06:12. The next day at the Boston Marathon , Tokyo Paralympics women's gold medalist Misato Michishita  (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) had a quick turnaround to win Boston's first-ever T11/T12 division race. In the elite women's race Shiho Kaneshige  (GRlab Kanto) tailed the lead pack with America Elaina Tabb through the first half of the race according to plan on sub-2:30 pace. But

Tokyo Kokusai University Wins in Izumo Ekiden Debut

With 2021 Hakone Ekiden MVP Vincent Yegon  set to run anchor,  Tokyo Kokusai University  was expected to be a serious contender for the win in its Izumo Ekiden debut. But as it turned out the team as a whole was strong enough to pull off the win on its own strength, not just his. Some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded at the Izumo Ekiden made for an unpredictable race, but TKU was solid throughout, all six of its runners making the top 5 on their individual stages. Inheriting a 3rd-place position from TKU's first two runners, its third runner Ken Tansho  blew the race apart when he went to the front and opened a 29-second lead over Hakone runner-up Soka University . The teams chasing TKU changed over the next two stages, but its lead held steady around 30 seconds by the time Yegon took over. It was simply too hot for him to rewrite the record books, but Yegon had no problem at all bringing TKU home to the win in its debut, breaking the finish tape in 2:12:10 and clocking t

WR Holder Kazami Wins Shibamata 100 km, Nakata Breaks Women's Course Record

Nao Kazami  (Aisan Kogyo), the undisputed world record holder in the men's 100 km, took another title Saturday in Tokyo with a win at the Shibamata 100 km . Running two laps of a 25 km out-and-back course along the Edo River in high humidity but moderate temperatures, Kazami had company from Hiroki Takashima  (GASC) and the debuting Junpei Yamaguchi  (Eldoreso) through 60 km, all three passing halfway in 3:17 flat and keeping the pace steady for the next 10 km.  Takashima was the first to fall off just after 60 km, and a surge from Kazami just before 65 km was enough to put Yamaguchi away. Kazami covered the 5 km from 65 to 70 km in 18:34, about a minute faster than his splits up to that point, and while he slowed incrementally the rest of the away he still had it in him to drop a negative split of over two minutes to win in 6:31:47.  柴又100K、JP2位でゴールしました!皆様、応援ありがとうございました🙌 — ELDORESO (@eldoreso) October 9, 2021 After getting dropped Yamaguchi, pictured

2021 Izumo Ekiden Preview

It feels good to type that headline. Canceled in 2020 amid the pandemic, the Izumo Ekiden is back to kick off university men's ekiden season this Sunday. Fuji TV will broadcast the race live starting at 12:00 noon local time, with English live tweeting @JRNLive .  Short and fast by Japanese standards, Izumo has 18 university teams from across Japan and 2 regional select teams facing off over 6 stages averaging 7.5 km apiece. That skews the necessary skill set closer to 5000 m than the half marathon distance critical at November's National University Ekiden and January's Hakone Ekiden, and with few half marathon racing opportunities over the last year and a half it's immediately noticeable when you look at the entry lists how much coaches have been focusing on the track instead of the road. Taken together than could mean a very fast race this year. 10 teams in the field are from the Tokyo-area Kanto Region, home of Hakone. 9 of those have top 6 averages under 14 minut

Kanazawa Marathon to Go Ahead on Oct. 31

With special precaution measures having been lifted within the prefecture of Ishikawa, states of emergency having been lifted nationwide including within the major cities, the number of cases of COVID-19 sharply declining both within and without Ishikawa, and the steady rise in vaccinations, the organizers of the Kanazawa Marathon have committed to staging this year's race with adequate precautions on Oct. 31.  The organizers ask all participants to monitor their physical condition for the 14 days prior to the race and to take steps to reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus in their day-to-day lives. Participants are also encouraged to get vaccinated wherever possible. The general public is asked not to come watch the race in person and instead to show its support by following TV or radio coverage. Please be aware that in the event of situations such as a rapid increase in the number of infections, earthquakes, floods or typhoons in the time shortly before the race, the e