Skip to main content

Kyoto and Kobe Join Osaka in Planning Large-Scale Marathons

http://www.jiji.com/jc/zc?k=200902/2009020500683
http://www.asahi.com/sports/update/0205/OSK200902050047.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

Following the success of the Tokyo Marathon, Japan's first mass-participation full marathon to run through the streets of one of its major cities, Osaka announced last year that it plans to begin hosting a similar large-scale marathon. Like Tokyo, Osaka has indicated that its marathon will come at the expense of existing events. Two other cities have now gotten on board the big marathon boom, namely Kyoto and Kobe.

Kyoto will begin hosting a major international marathon in 2011 with a course designed to take in many of the city's most famous cultural and World Heritage sites. With the final running of the Kyoto City Half Marathon now in the past, the city will spend the next two years working together with the prefectural police department to deal with traffic control and other issues.

The city of Kyoto contributed roughly $580,000 U.S. to the operating budget of the Kyoto City Half Marathon, with the remained of the event's operating costs coming from sponsors. In view of current economic and political troubles the municipal government decided that it could not justify continuing to hold the existing half marathon as it pursued the creation of a strong new marathon.

In addition to the full marathon, Kyoto plans to include half marathon and 10 km events as part of its new race. A member of the city government's planning committee commented, "It will probably be outside the peak spring and fall tourist seasons, and we have to be careful not to conflict with marathons held by our neighbors Osaka or elsewhere."

Nearby Kobe is also investigating the idea of hosting a large-scale civic marathon. Committees in the Kobe municipal and Hyogo prefectural governments with budgets of $50,000 each have been organized to assess the feasibility of such an event and to research the relevant issues. Proposals for the race's route include a start at the Hanshin Tigers' Koshien Stadium, a section passing through the city's Sannomiya Shuhen skyscraper district and one crossing the Akashi Kaikyo bridge between the city of Kobe and Awajishima island.

Like Kyoto, the Kobe committees are also strongly considering road closure, detour, and traffic control issues as they plan the event's course and facilities. In addition to restrictions placed by the Hyogo Prefectural Police Department, the planning committees must take into account Rikuren's requirement that the start and finish of the marathon course have a total elevation loss of less than 42 m. It is estimated that after the course study and a symposium to examine the impact of the Tokyo Marathon upon the city of Tokyo, it will take up to seven years for the Kobe Marathon to get underway.

Comments

Jon in Tokyo said…
Very interesting. Soon the thing to do will be to run all three (and later four) in the one year! Tanoshimi !
stephen said…
is there any update on whether these plans are closer to reality?

Most-Read This Week

Kusu Runs Steeplechase World-Leading Time, Yabuta and Yoshimura Break National Records, Tanaka Just Misses Fukushi's NR - Kitami and Liege Highlights

Wednesday afternoon and evening saw the fourth meet in this year's five-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series, this time in the town of Kitami. The program included the little-raced 2000 m steeplechase as a tuneup for Monday's series-closing Abashiri meet, and in both the women's and men's races the national records went down. A top collegiate steepler while at Kyoto Sangyo University, Yui Yabuta (Otsuka Seiyaku) ran 6:27.74 to break the women's record. In the men's race 1500 m specialist Yasunari Kusu (Ami AC) surprised many by breaking the Japanese national record with a world-leading 5:31.82 despite little experience in the steeple.

The women's 3000 m in Kitami was more explicitly set up as a national record attempt, with four of the ten fastest Japanese women ever over the distance lined up to gun for the great Kayoko Fukushi's 8:44.40 record dating back to 2002. From the gun it was out at NR pace, with pacers Hellen Ekalale (Toyota Jidoshokki) an…

Lemeteki and Aoki Win Shibetsu Half

Kenyan Razini Lemeteki (Takushoku Univ.) and relative unknown Nanami Aoki (Iwatani Sangyo) took the top spots in hot and sunny conditions at the Shibetsu Half Marathon in Hokkaido. With Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) doing early frontrunning in the men's race only to fade to a 20th-place finish in 1:06:40 Lemeteki had little competition for the win in 1:03:25. 2017 Shibetsu winner Tsubasa Hayakawa (Toyota) was the top Japanese man at 2nd in 1:03:42, beating MGC Race Olympic marathon trials qualifiers Daichi Kamino (New Balance) and Naoki Okamoto (Chugoku Denryoku) - by 4 seconds and 11 seconds. Other MGC Race qualifiers Masato Imai (Toyota Jidoshokki), Yuji Iwata (MHPS) and Ryo Kiname (MHPS) all struggled, none of them breaking 66 minutes.

Aoki won the women's race easily in 1:15:12 by almost a minute over Mai Nagaoka (Sysmex). MGC Race qualifiers Reia Iwade (Under Armour) and Keiko Nogami (Juhachi Ginko) were listed to start but apparently did not run.
33rd Suffolkland Shibets…

Koike Runs Japan's Third Sub-10, Niiya Clears Doha 5000 m Standard - Weekend Track Highlights

Japanese athletes were busy on the track overseas this weekend. At Friday's Stumptown Twilight meet in Portland, indoor mile Asian record holder Nanami Arai (Honda) took 2nd in the men's 1500 m in 3:39.58, his second time this season breaking 3:40. It used to be a rarity to see a Japanese man clear 3:40, something that happened once every couple of years, but so far this season four Japanese men have done it a total of six times. If the distance had even a fraction of the prestige of the Hakone Ekiden, or of that it has in the U.S., there's no doubt there'd be more.

Speaking of distances with prestige, on the first day of London's Muller Anniversary Games Diamond League spectacular Yuki Koike (Sumitomo Denko) became the third Japanese man to join the sub-10 club, running 9.98 (+0.5 m/s) for 4th in the men's 100 m final. Koike also ran 2nd on the Japanese men's 4x100 m relay team, which clocked a season best 37.78 for 2nd despite featuring only two regulars…