translated and edited by Brett Larner
The organizers of the Nagoya Women's Marathon announced Sept. 18 that based on criteria established by the IAAF to evaluate worldwide road races on the quality and size of their fields, beginning with next year's running on Mar. 10 the Nagoya Women's Marathon will be upgraded from its current silver label to a gold label, the highest ranking. Nagoya is the fourth domestic Japanese race to receive a gold label, following the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, Tokyo Marathon and Fukuoka International Marathon, and the first women-only marathon featuring both professional and amateur runners to be recognized as a gold-label event. This year Nagoya changed from its historic elite Nagoya International Women's Marathon format to become a mass-participation event. With 13000 runners it was the world's largest women-only marathon.
Also announced on the 18th was that the Naoko Takahashi Cup Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon will pick up a bronze label for its third running next May. The IAAF awards eligible races one of three rankings, gold, silver or bronze, under its ranking system. Seventy-one major races worldwide received labels this year, with nine domestic Japanese races slated for labels next year. Criteria for receiving a bronze label include an elite field of more than five athletes from at least five countries. 9250 people took part in this year's second running of the Naoko Takahashi Cup Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon. Sydney Olympics marathon gold medalist and former world record holder Naoko Takahashi oversees the race, which has a course certified according to IAAF and JAAF regulations.