translated and edited by Brett Larner
On May 25 Rikuren announced the course for the Nov. 15 Yokohama International Women's Marathon, a new event which replaces the Tokyo International Women's Marathon. The 42.195 km course begins in front of Yokohama's Yamashita Park, finishes within the park's grounds, and consists of a 1.7 km loop and a longer 13.2 km loop which runners will cover three times. The route will be the first-ever Rikuren-certified loop course and the first marathon on Japan's elite circuit not to start and finish on a 400 m track.
Following the start, the 1.7 km loop travels from Yamashita Park to the Kanagawa Prefectural Office and then through Yokohama's famous Chinatown before returning to the park. The longer loop extends from the park to the Akarenga Warehouse district, the site of the start and finish of the discontinued Yokohama International Women's Ekiden. From there it passes the east exit of Yokohama Station and Yokohama Stadium, returning once again to Yamashita Park at the end of each loop. The course features a net elevation loss of 13 m and is almost entirely flat, meaning it is likely to be extremely fast. Rikuren officials said that the new marathon's prize money purse is "under discussion," but added that the field would be limited to 500 or 600 runners.