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Nagoya to Become World's Largest Women-Only Marathon in 2012

http://www.chunichi.co.jp/s/article/2010083190225214.html
http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=spo_30&k=2010083100992

translated and edited by Brett Larner

A key selection race for Olympic and World Championships teams held each March, the Nagoya International Women's Marathon will from 2012 abandon its traditional elite-only format in favor of a mass-participation format. The new race, tentatively titled the Nagoya Women's Marathon, will be open to women only and, with a field limit of 10,000, is expected to become the world's largest women-only full marathon. Designed for both elites and amateurs, the new race will have a cutoff time of 7 hours.

Along with the change in format, November's Nagoya City Half Marathon will change dates following this year's running to become incorporated into the new event along with 10 km and 4 km races to allow both men and women, adults and children to take part. The total number of runners in the race weekend is expected to exceed 30,000. The first edition of the new event will take place on Mar. 11, 2012.

The course for the new event is still in planning but will include many of the major roads through Nagoya. Sponsors will include many large, locally-based corporations. At a press conference on Aug. 31 Aichi Athletics Association director Yukio Toyama commented, "We are expanding our base to include amateur runners in order to become a race which makes a contribution to running as a lifelong pursuit for everyone." Organizers hope to make the Nagoya Women's Marathon into an event with the highest international standards.

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