translated by Brett Larner
The official meeting of the Tokyo Marathon organizing committee opened Jan. 28 at the Tokyo metropolitan government's office complex. At the top of the agenda was ratification of the Mar. 22 date for next year's race. Another major topic of discussion was the addition of an elite women's race to the existing elite men's component of the event.
Because next year will see a World Championships (Berlin), The Tokyo Marathon committee, "...would like to see [top] men and women together in the same race." Rikuren [JAAF] said it will consider all points of view in making its decision on approving the plan.
In its first 2 years, the Tokyo Marathon has been held in February. Because of concerns about top athletes' ability to recover from a March selection race in time for a summer championship event, the committee discussed further possible date changes as well as potential course changes for the Tokyo Marathon's 4th running in 2010. The last topic of discussion was the addition of large cash prizes to make the Tokyo Marathon Japan's first big money race.
Last year, 30,000 people started the Tokyo Marathon. In view of the disruption caused to Tokyo's traffic by such a large number of runners, the Tokyo Police Department made the decision late last year to only issue road closure permits for one marathon from now on. As a result, this year's 30th anniversary Tokyo International Women's Marathon will be that event's final running.
Translator's note: This article seems to confirm previous speculation about the likely consequences of the demise of the Tokyo International Women's Marathon. It remains to be seen whether Tokyo will attempt to become a part of the World Marathon Majors.