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Hakodate and Shimada Oikawa Marathons Canceled

Following yesterday's cancelation of the Nov. 8 Fukuoka Marathon, two other large Japanese marathons did the same before the start of the Golden Week public holidays. The July 5 Hakodate Marathon and Half Marathon, with 3678 half marathon finishers and winning times of 1:02:19 and 1:08:49, and 3449 marathon finishers last year, announced on its website on Apr. 28 that it was canceling for the safety of participants, staff, volunteers and spectators. Organizers said that anyone entered this year would be able to defer their entry to the July 4, 2021 edition of the race free of charge, while anyone unable to run next year would receive their participants' t-shirt, finisher's towel, and other goods from this year's race. Details on deferral of entry will be posted on the race website at the beginning of September.

Also on Apr. 28, the Oct. 25 Shimada Oikawa Marathon, with 6589 marathon finishers and 1685 finishers in its accompanying 10 km last year, likewise announced on its website that it was canceling this year's 12th edition. Like Fukuoka, Shimada Oikawa was one of the many October/November marathons to have earlier postponed opening registrations, in its case delaying from Apr. 15 to June 1, but, citing the continued spread of the coronavirus and the impossibility of having any certainty about what conditions will be like this fall, organizers made the decision to pull the plug.

As it currently stands, Japan's fall marathon season it looking like this. Numbers are full marathon finisher totals last time. Most of these races had thousands more participants in additional shorter races.

Oct. 4: Tohoku Miyagi Fukko Marathon (7,457) - scheduled
Oct. 4: Matsumoto Marathon (6,455)- scheduled, final decision in early May
Oct. 18: Chiba Aqualine Marathon (9,541) - canceled
Oct. 25: Kanazawa Marathon (10,408) - entries suspended
Oct. 25: Mito Komon Marathon (9,995) - canceled
Oct. 25: Shimada Oikawa Marathon (6,589) - canceled
Oct. 25: Iwate Morioka City Marathon (5,729) - scheduled
Nov. 1: Yokohama Marathon (25,195) - scheduled, final decision by May 14
Nov. 1: Toyama Marathon (12,603) - entries suspended
Nov. 8: Fukuoka Marathon (11,349) - canceled
Nov. 15: Kobe Marathon (19,444) - scheduled, lottery results TBA on June 16
Nov. 22: Tsukuba Marathon (11,461) - canceled
Nov. 23: Ohtawara Marathon (1,697) - canceled
Nov. 29: Osaka Marathon (31,594) - entries suspended
Nov. 29 Nagasaki Peace marathon (1st running, field of 10,000) - scheduled
Dec. 6: Shonan International Marathon (16,821) - TBA
Dec. 6: Naha Marathon (14,660) - entries suspended until early July
Dec. 6: Fukuoka International Marathon (370) - TBA
Dec. 13: Saitama International Marathon (13,340) - canceled
Dec. 13: Nara Marathon (11,137) - scheduled
Dec. 20: Hofu Marathon (2,724) - TBA

Updates forthcoming as the situation develops. I want to be optimistic, but in the same way that the Tokyo Marathon, along with Hong Kong and Chinese races, ended up being foreshadowing what was going to happen everywhere else this spring, the list above is probably a pretty good indication of what to expect elsewhere this fall. Let's hope for the best.

© 2020 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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