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Rescheduled Shonan International Marathon Cut Back to 25 km Over Coronavirus Fears

For the half year to go until we attempt to hold the 15th Shonan International Marathon in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we have set two unique factors, the "possibility of staging" and "event distance," to help in determining the likelihood that the event will be able to go forward. Initially we had planned to announce the "event distance" on Dec. 10, the deadline for our final decision with regard to the "possibility of staging." However, the demands of the era necessitate more time than originally anticipated in order to make preparations for the race to go ahead. As a result, we would like to make an early announcement about the "event distance."

With no vaccine or specific treatment yet available, the number of people infected with the coronavirus is on the climb. Faced by the difficulty of assessing the current situation's development, the overwhelming majority of marathons across the country chose to cancel their events. But the Shonan International Marathon organizing committee has thoroughly studied how to manage the risk and is convinced the race can be held even in the midst of the pandemic crisis. 

Based on the situation as it currently stands, we have determined that given the extra time required on race day to minimize congestion in the start area and along the course, the time limit we have secured for road closure makes it possible to hold a race of up to 25 km in distance. As such we have changed the event from the marathon distance to 25 km.

We had hoped to continue to explore ways to stage the traditional full marathon right up to the original Dec. 10 deadline. But with the extra time required by a course change being an unknown variable we needed to make the announcement earlier, and we apologize for the inconvenience it will cause participants.

On Dec. 10 we still plan to make a final announcement with regard to the "possibility of staging" based on the state of the coronavirus crisis at that point. If the decision to go ahead is made, the 15th Shonan International Marathon will take place as a 25 km race and not a full marathon, regardless of whether the coronavirus situation improves before the race date on Feb. 28. We ask for your understanding on this point.

We are sure that many participants will be disappointed and not being able to run a full marathon in Shonan, but we on the organizing committee will continue to take all necessary steps with regard to infection risk management, event management and race planning, and we will do our best to make sure there is no drop in the event's quality. As we work toward holding an enjoyable, safe and secure race on Feb. 28, 2021 let's come together in hope for an end to the coronavirus crisis soon.

Shonan International Marathon Organizing Committee

Major Japanese marathons still scheduled to happen in 2020 and 2021 marathon announcements to date:

Dec. 6: Fukuoka International Marathon (370) - scheduled with limited field size
Dec. 20: Hofu Marathon (2,724) - scheduled with limited field size

2021

Jan. 10 - Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon (10,954) - canceled
Jan. 31 - Katsuta Marathon (10,627) - canceled
Jan. 31 - Osaka International Women's Marathon (423) - scheduled with limited field size
Feb. 7 - Beppu-Oita Marathon (3,141) - canceled
Feb. 14 - Ehime Marathon (9,554) - canceled
Feb. 14 - Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon (536) - TBA
Feb. 21 - Kyoto Marathon (13,894) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Kochi Ryoma Marathon (10,924) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Kumamoto Castle Marathon (10,444) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Kitakyushu Marathon (9,485) - canceled
Feb. 21 - Okinawa Marathon (7,990) - canceled
Feb. 28 - Shonan International Marathon (16,821) - rescheduled from Dec. 6, cut to 25 km
Feb. 28 - Himeji Castle Marathon (6,938) - canceled
Feb. 28 - Iwaki Sunshine Marathon (5,259) - canceled
Feb. 28 - Lake Biwa Marathon (191) - scheduled
Mar. 7 - Kagoshima Marathon (9.356) - canceled
Mar. 7 - Tokyo Marathon (151) - postponed to October 17
Mar. 14 - Shizuoka Marathon (9,802) - canceled
Mar. 14 - Nagoya Women's Marathon (96) - scheduled with limited field size
Mar. 21 - Itabashi City Marathon (13,310) - canceled
Mar. 21 - Koga Hanamomo Marathon (8,766) - canceled
Mar. 21 - Saga Sakura Marathon (8.509) - canceled
Mar. 28 - Tokushima Marathon (11,010) - decision in mid-November
Mar. 28 - Sakura Marathon (5,614) - canceled
Apr. 18 - Kasumigaura Marathon (10,096) - scheduled
Apr. 18 - Nagano Marathon (8,082) - scheduled with limited field size

source articles:
translated by Brett Larner

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