With the 22nd typhoon of the season hitting Japan's eastern coast, five of Japan's biggest amateur marathons faced the decision of whether to go ahead as scheduled.
The biggest of them, the third running of the Yokohama Marathon, 10th largest in the world last year with 22,594 finishers, was the only one to cancel, a controversial decision that went out Saturday evening ahead of milder-than-expected conditions on race morning.
With almost 13,000 finishers last year, the Kanazawa Marathon scored a new course record in its third edition as Kazuya Deguchi (Asahi Kasei) won in 2:18:44, the event's first sub-2:20 apart from disqualified Russian Victor Ugarov's 2:17:19 at Kanazawa's first running two years ago. Deguchi ran Kanazawa as a tuneup for December's Fukuoka International Marathon. Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishi Nippon) took eight minutes off the women's course record with a 2:42:24 win.
For the second time in its three runnings to date, local resident Olympian Arata Fujiwara won the 11,000 runner-plus Toyama Marathon, breaking his own course record with a training run-effort 2:16:32. Former sub-2:25 elite Azusa Nojiri (Raffine) had a comeback of sorts to win the women's race, breaking 2:40 for the first time in three years with a 2:38:46 course record.
On the edge of clearing the 10,000 finisher barrier in its first running last year, the Mito Komon Manyu Marathon also saw new course records in both the men's and women's races. Haruki Okayama (Comody Iida) took the men's title in 2:22:57, with Shoko Miyazaki running 2:49:11 to win the women's race.
The smallest of the five with just over 7,500 finishers last year, the Shimada Oikawa Marathon joined the course record rush thanks to a 2:16:33 win in the men's race by Tadashi Suzuki (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), runner-up in the nearby Shizuoka Marathon last March and also Fukuoka-bound. Shiho Katayama won the women's race in 3:01:11. With nine runnings including this year Shimada Oikawa was the oldest of the day's five marathons, all part of the boom set off by the Tokyo Marathon in 2007.
© 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved