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Osaka Governor Examining Creation of Mass-Participation Marathon

translated by Brett Larner

Inspired by the success of the Tokyo Marathon, Osaka Governor Hashimoto announced on June 12 that he has initiated a committee to examine the creation of a mass-participation marathon in Osaka. The tentative plan for the race calls for it to act as an extension of the legacy of currently exisiting marathons. Speaking at a meeting of city government officials, Governor Hashimoto told listeners he is in consultation with the city office and police department to design a course suitable for a large-scale marathon and a plan to handle road closures and safety issues.

Governor Hashimoto stated, "We are examining what steps will be necessary to hold a mass-participation marathon as well as gathering sponsors to cover the costs of expanding the event beyond the scale of existing marathons." Osaka-based sports maker Mizuno is a potential sponsor. Mizuno company president Akito Mizuno commented, "We too would like to see a major marathon like the Tokyo Marathon held in Osaka."

The model for Governor Hashimoto`s plan is the Tokyo Marathon, a race which began in February last year as a personal project of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara. The Tokyo Marathon offers 30,000 entrants the opportunity to run through many of the city`s famous neighborhoods such as Ginza and Asakusa. Over 150,000 people applied for this year`s edition of the race. For the Osaka Marathon Governor Hashimoto envisions an "Osaka Museum" course designed to show off the highlights of the downtown area in the hope of appealing to runners from throughout the country.


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