The organizing committee of the 31st Gunma Marathon, canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, have made the decision to go ahead with this year's race, with both the 10 km and marathon divisions scheduled to be held on Nov. 3 in Maebashi and Takasaki, Gunma. The overall field size will be reduced from 15,000 to 9,000, and the Riverside Jogging fun run, where it is harder to employ countermeasures against the spread of the virus, will not be held. Online entries will begin at 10:00 a.m. on July 4.
The marathon will feature a field of 5,000, with another 4,000 places available in the 10 km. Both divisions will start and finish at Shoda Shoyu Stadium in Maebashi and follow their traditional courses, and both races will start in waves of 1,000 people to reduce runner density on the course.
As additional measures to reduce risk, no celebrity guests will be invited and no stage shows or other supporting events will take place. Runners will be required to wear masks before and after the race, and family members, supporters and locals will be asked not to come to the start or finish areas or to cheer along the course.
Translator's note: In comparison to the Gunma Marathon's optimistic decision to go ahead with this year's race, the Nov. 21 Kobe Marathon announced on May 31 that this year's race will be canceled over COVID-19 concerns. By some estimates Japan is expected to hit 50% vaccination by November.
translated by Brett Larner