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Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been the date of the elite men-only Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. Given the two events' places in the JAAF's national team selection process and revenue stream it's probable that we'll see Lake Biwa change dates as a consequence of Tokyo's move. Tokyo's current end-of-February date is the most likely new date for Lake Biwa, its location near Kyoto meaning no issues with fans of the new Emperor.

source article:
translated by Brett Larner


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