translated by Brett Larner
Preparations for the new and improved 2009 Hokkaido Marathon, to be held on Aug. 30, got underway in Sapporo on Apr. 11 as the Hokkaido Track and Field Association, Hokkaido Newspaper Group and others on the organizing committee measured the entire length of the race's new course using a segment of wire rope. The measurement procedure followed Rikuren protocol and satisfactorily confirmed that the new course meets the standards to be recognized as an officially certified course.
The new course starts on the east side of Sapporo's Nakajima Park, covering the full 42.195 km before finishing in the West Hachome area of Odori Park. The course features plenty of the spectacular views characteristic of Hokkaido, with new features including a section through the University of Hokkaido campus and one passing in front of the historic Akarenga Prefectural Government Building.
A staff of 50 was involved in the measurement procedure. Using a 50 m length of wire like a ruler the team began at 6:00 a.m., reaching the finish line and completing the certification process 11 hours later. The measurement team found that all points indicated on the course map such as the 5 km mark, turnaround point and finish line were accurate, and they encountered no problems along the way.