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Kobe Marathon Elevated to IAAF Bronze Label Status

The organizers of the Kobe Marathon announced on Feb. 13 that the race has been awarded IAAF Bronze Label status ahead of its 8th edition this November. The distinction is a mark of international recognition of the organizers' efforts to put on a world-class event that at last year's 7th running featured an international-quality elite field and was supported by 7500 volunteers. According to organizers and the JAAF, Kobe is the tenth event in Japan to acquire a label. It is the first mass-participation marathon without strict entry standards in Western Japan to earn the honor.

The IAAF awards three labels, Gold, Silver and Bronze, to marathons, half marathons and other road races. Requirements for label status include a specified number of international athletes in the elite field, strict anti-doping testing, adequate aid stations, and prompt publication of results and other information in English. Organizers cited the Gold Label London Marathon (U.K.), the Silver Label Daegu International Marathon (South Korea) and the Bronze Label Milan Marathon (Italy) as the top international events in their label classes.

Beginning with its 7th running, Kobe reserved 200 places for local runners who pay a 100,000 yen hometown entry fee. Utilizing the funds from these entries the organizers invited a quality international field, submitting a report on their activity to the IAAF after the race. Earlier this month they received notification of approval for Bronze Label status. An event spokesperson commented, "We hope that this distinction will help raise awareness of our marathon and increase the number of international participants, and that it will lead to an even more exciting atmosphere at this year's race."

IAAF Label Races in Japan

Gold

Osaka International Women's Marathon (January)
Tokyo Marathon (February)
Biwako Mainichi Marathon (March)
Nagoya Women's Marathon (March)
Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon (April)
Fukuoka International Marathon (December)

Silver

Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon (February)
Saitama International Marathon (December)

Bronze

Nagano Marathon (April)
Kobe Marathon (November)

source article: 
https://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/sougou/201802/0010983649.shtml
translated by Brett Larner

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