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Heavy Snow Stops Ome Marathon

by Brett Larner

Heavy snowfall in the Tokyo area on Feb. 3 caused race organizers to cancel this year's Ome Marathon. This was only the second time in the event's 42 years that the race has been cancelled due to inclement weather, the last time being in 1996. Ome is one of the most popular races in Japan, with 15000 runners in the 30 km distance and another 5000 in the 10 km. This year's race was to be a tuneup for men's marathon national record holder Toshinari Takaoka and for Olympic women's marathon hopeful Akane Taira. The winner of last week's Osaka International Women's Marathon, Mara Yamauchi, and 30 km course record holder Toshihiko Seko were also scheduled to appear.

The poor weather also forced the cancellation of numerous other races throughout the Kanto area, including the 30th running of the Kanagawa Half Marathon in Yokohama. Seoul Olympic marathon gold medalist Gelindo Bordin was to appear in Kanagawa as a guest speaker.

(c) 2008 Brett Larner
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