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Biwako Mainichi Marathon's Future in Doubt After Loss of Main Sponsor Rohm

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/trend/081113/trd0811130131001-n1.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Kyoto-based electronics company Rohm announced on Nov. 12 that it will end its long-standing sponsorship of the elite Biwako Mainichi Marathon after next March's edition of the race. The Shiga Prefecture Track and Field Association, which administers the marathon, issued a statement saying, "We want this event to continue and are looking for a new sponsor," but the shock of losing the source of half its funding has race organizers reeling.

The operating costs for the Biwako Mainichi Marathon stand at approximately $1,840,000 per year, of which about $920,000 comes from Rohm's financial support. The remainder is funded by the Shiga prefectural government, the Otsu municipal government, and other sources. In making the announcement of Rohm's withdrawal from sponsorship next year, the Shiga Prefectural Track and Field Association went on to further say, "The withdrawal of half of our financial support makes the future truly unstable, but this is a race with a great history and so we will do everything we can to find a sponsor who will help us to keep the 'Biwako Mainichi' name alive."

The Biwako Mainichi Marathon is overseen by Rikuren and the Mainichi Newspapers group. Founded in 1946, it is one of the most historic and important marathons in Japan and is used as a selection race for Olympic and World Championships teams. At this year's 63rd running in March, 3rd place finisher Satoshi Osaki (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) was selected for the Beijing Olympics men's marathon team.

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