translated by Brett Larner
At a press conference in Sendai on July 26, organizers of the 22nd Sendai International Half Marathon announced that they will go ahead with plans to expand the event from 1000 elite and semi-elite runners to a mass-participation race with a field limit of 10000 at next year's race, scheduled for May 13. According to city officials, Sendai will become the largest half marathon in Japan, with a new course that takes in the best of Sendai's downtown area.
The new event will combine the elite Sendai International Half Marathon with the amateur-level Sendai City Marathon held in the fall and will include the full range of participants from those trying for a spot on the Japanese national team for the World Half Marathon Championships to recreational runners trying to break 2 hours 30 minutes. The new race will also include a wheelchair race along with 2 km and 5 km events. Applications open on October 3, with a lottery planned should the number of applications exceed the maximum field size.
The 21st edition of the Sendai International Half Marathon was scheduled for May this year but was cancelled after March's major earthquake and tsunami hit the Sendai area. Sendai mayor Emiko Okuyama commented, "I hope this event will help contribute a new sense of the attraction of the rebuilding, re-emerging Sendai."