translated by Brett Larner
Having put the tragedy of the great Hanshin Earthquake behind it, Hyogo Prefecture announced on Feb. 15 that is going ahead with plans to hold a mass-participation marathon in Kobe. The first running of the new race, expected to have a field of 20,000, will take place sometime between Nov. 2011 and Jan. 2012. The exact course will be decided next year, but a start point at Hanshin Koshien Stadium, home of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team, and a finish line at Port Island in downtown Kobe were mentioned as possibilities.
In conjunction with the Kobe metropolitan government, an initial budget of 20,000,000 yen has been set for the marathon's organizing committee as it begins work. A member of the prefectural education committee commented, "With the legacy of the Hanshin Earthquake and an international flair, we want to make a race that strongly reflects Kobe's unique character."