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Plan to Hold 2021 Tokyo Marathon in October With Field of 15,000 Gains Favor

On Sept. 9 it was learned that the Tokyo Marathon is examining a plan to hold next year's race, currently scheduled for Mar. 7, in October, 2021 with a maximum field of 15,000. The plan is among the leading candidates for a solution to dealing with the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The Tokyo Marathon Foundation continues to examine the options and projections for the future and intends to make a final decision at its executive board meeting in early October.

This year's race on Mar. 1, where Suguru Osako set a new men's national record of 2:05:29, was run as an elite-only event due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis. 38,000 mass participation runners had been scheduled to run through the city's streets before the mass participation race was canceled. Those who had been entered have the option to run in either 2021 or 2022 instead.

The countdown to next year's race continues in the midst of uncertainty. The Tokyo Marathon Foundation was originally scheduled to have made a final decision about next year's race by August, but that deadline came and went without a conclusion. The only thing to emerge was a clear statement from the Foundation that "We are not considering an elite-only race."

The postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are set to take place next summer. Some athletics officials are worried that if the Tokyo Marathon goes ahead with a large number of people on Mar. 7, a cluster outbreak there would have serious repercussions for the Olympics' and Paralympics' chances of happening. If the Mar. 7 date is judged not to be feasible, the October date with a half-sized field of 15,000 seems like the most likely alternative. But with the Paralympics set to wrap up Sept. 5 it remains to be seen whether another large-scale event could be realistically staged just a month later.

source article:
https://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2020/09/10/kiji/20200909s00057000452000c.html
translated by Brett Larner

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