Scheduled for September 27, the Ichinoseki International Half Marathon in Ichinoseki, Iwate has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. With a formal announcement of its cancelation issued by race organizers, this marks the first time in the Ichinoseki Half's history that the event has been canceled. Founded in 1982, the Ichinoseki Half attracts top corporate league runners, university men targeting the Hakone Ekiden, and amateurs, with participation numbers rising in recent years to more than 3,000 people from across the country.
But as the only one of Japan's 47 prefectures without a single recorded case of coronavirus infection, concerns are high in Iwate about the risk of the virus being brought in and spread by use of public transportation, concerns that were a part of the decision to cancel the race. Entry fees will be returned to those who have already entered.
In addition, the second running of October's Iwate Morioka City Marathon is likely to be canceled. According to a member of the event's organizing committee, the organizers are currently examining the issues surrounding cancelation and expect to make a formal announcement later this month.
Translator's note: Ichinoseki is one of the fastest half marathons in Japan, with a 59:58 men's course record set by Mekubo Mogusu in 2007 during his junior year at Yamanashi Gakuin University.
translated by Brett Larner