translated by Brett Larner
On the occasion of its 15th anniversary running, the Feb. 24 Soja Kibiji Marathon in Soja, Okayama will for the first time be selling naming rights to the event. Race organizers will accept bids from potential sponsors through Jan. 15, with target bids beginning at 2,500,000 yen for the half marathon division and 2,000,000 yen for the 10 km division. Sponsors' company names and logos will be printed on all entrants' number bibs.
Both the half marathon and 10 km are JAAF-certified courses. The 10 km bears the subtitle "The Hitomi Niiya 10 km" in honor of Soja native and London Olympics 5000 m and 10000 m runner Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.). In addition to the half marathon and 10 km divisions, the event also includes uncertified full marathon, 3 km, 5 km and 700 m family run divisions. Entries are open until Jan 18. Public promotion of the event began around Kurashiki Station and elsewhere on Jan. 8. For more information contact the race organizers at 0866-92-8367.