by Brett Larner
Along with the cancellation of the elite Nagoya International Women's Marathon and National University Men's Half Marathon Championships (Tachikawa Akishima Half Marathon) last weekend and the National Corporate Half Marathon Championships and National University Women's Half Marathon Championships (Matsue Ladies Half Marathon) this coming weekend following the string of disasters to strike northeastern Japan, several major amateur-level races in eastern Japan have also announced they will cancel this spring's editions. One of Japan's largest marathons, the Itabashi City Marathon (known until this year as the Tokyo Arakawa Shimin Marathon) has cancelled its planned Mar. 20 running, along with the Tamako Ekiden the next day. On Mar. 27 the Sakura Asahi Marathon in Chiba Prefecture and the Kumagaya Sakura Half Marathon in Saitama Prefecture have also announced their cancellations. Yet another is Shizuoka's Yaizu Minato Half Marathon, scheduled for Apr. 10.
Seemingly the only bright spot among all the announcements is that organizers of the Mar. 20 Tottori Marathon have decided to go ahead and run to "help give courage and spirit" to Japan's people and to "support and encourage victims of the earthquake and tsunami." The Tokushima Marathon, also on Mar. 20, has postponed this year's race until an unspecified later date.
The Apr. 17 Nagano Marathon, the race mentioned as the likely replacement for Nagoya as the final selection race for the Japanese women's World Championships marathon team, is discussing whether or not to cancel the race, while Japan's second-largest marathon, the Kasumigaura Marathon in hard-hit Ibaraki Prefecture, also on Apr. 17, is virtually certain to cancel. The cancellation of the May 8 Sendai International Half Marathon is likewise highly likely. JRN will try to keep you up to date as events within Japan continue to unfold.
(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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