Skip to main content

Tokyo Marathon Cancels Mass Participation Race, To Go Ahead as Elite-Only Event (updated)

Update: The Mar. 8 Nagoya Women's Marathon, the world's largest women-only marathon, is now also looking at canceling its mass-participation division.

In response to the spread of the coronavirus within Japan, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation has decided to cancel the Mar. 1 Tokyo Marathon's 38,000-runner mass-participation race. Founded in 2007, the Tokyo Marathon is Japan's largest mass-participation marathon, with more than a million spectators along its course every year. A men's Olympic marathon team selection race, this year's Tokyo Marathon will be an unusual spectacle with only 200 elite runners including national record holder Suguru Osako (Nike) and previous record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda).

The Tokyo Marathon Foundation is also looking at significantly cutting back the activities of the 11,000 volunteers involved in the event's operations. On Feb. 1 the Foundation already asked roughly 1,800 participants living in China to refrain from taking part in this year's race and had announced plans to take measures such as distributing masks to participants on the day of the race. However, with the number of people infected with the virus in Tokyo continuing to increase, additional plans to mitigate risk were discussed. As a result of these discussions, the Foundation made the decision to cancel the entire mass-participation race, saying, "Preventing the spread of infection is our top priority."

The Foundation is looking at possible reimbursement of participants' entry fees and other issues. But with the decision coming less than two weeks before the race, tens of thousands of amateur runners who have already paid for transportation and accommodations are left with nothing more than questions and confusion.

Translator's note: For some context, this decision was made against a backdrop of other major public events including the Emperor's birthday celebrations also being canceled. Efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus now may impact whether Tokyo is in a position to host the Olympic Games in five months and should be interpreted at least partially in that context. At the same time, however, yesterday there were at least seven major road races with 10,000+ participants across Japan.

Details have yet to be made clear on which divisions exactly are being canceled, but given the estimate of a 200-runner race it seems likely that anyone not among the 133 men and 43 women listed in this elite field PDF or among the wheelchair field will be out of luck, including the Run as One division.


source article:
https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/olympic/2020/20200217-OYT1T50183/
translated by Brett Larner

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Unbelievably stupid. Talk about paranoia!! There are what? 40 cases of the virus in Japan? Out of 120 million people. Not exactly a crisis!!

Last year influenza killed 400,000 people around the world. And no one batted an eye. This is just idiotic paranoia.
Unknown said…
bettter safe than sorry.
TokyoRacer said…
BTW, I couldn't vote because I'm not on Twitter.
Unknown said…
better safe than sorry
Gclub said…
The Tokyo Marathon, general runners, decided to stop participating ... in the tournament of the Olympic team aimed at players.

Most-Read This Week

Yugeta Betters Own 60+ World Record

Women's 60+ marathon world record holder Mariko Yugeta , 62, bettered her 2:52:13 record Saturday at Tokyo's Itabashi Trial Marathon . Part of the Trial Marathon Series, a nationwide series of professionally-operated uncertified micro-races that has popped up during the coronavirus pandemic, the Itabashi Trial Marathon covered almost 17 laps of a flat 2.5 km course along the Arakawa River on Tokyo's northern border.  Yugeta went out at just under 4:00/km, going through halfway in 1:24:04 and making it to 30 km in 2:00:08 before her pace started to slip. Ultimately she ran 2:52:01, 1st among the 21 female finishers and 14th overall . "That's it for marathons for this season," she told JRN post-race. "I didn't make it to sub-2:50, but I'll be training hard to go for it at the Tokyo Marathon this fall." text and photo © 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

25-Year-Old Kyohei Hosoya Targeting Paris Olympics Marathon

It's a fast new world in Japanese men's marathoning, and one of its exciting new stars comes to it straight out of Kyushu. His name is Kyohei Hosoya  (25, Kurosaki Harima). In just his second marathon he ran 2:06:35 for 3rd at February's Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon , ranking him at all-time Japanese #6. In college he was mostly sidelined with injury, but since joining the corporate leagues his abilities have come into full flower. Now, with the 2024 Paris Olympics in his sights, he's poised to make another great leap forward. When the race in Lake Biwa began Hosoya was just an unknown 25-year-old, but when he hit the finish line he'd inked his name on the list of top candidates for the Paris Olympics. What once was just a dream is now a realistic goal. "I'd had some vague hopes before about representing Japan," he said, "but now that feeling is burning bright."  Someone who has been involved with Hosoya's athletic career had often told hi

Sato Breaks 1500 m U18 National Record - Weekend Track Roundup

It was a busy weekend on the track across Japan. At Saturday's Kanaguri Memorial Meet  in Kumamoto, the biggest news came in the men's 1500 m where 17-year-old Keita Sato (Rakunan H.S.) ran 3:40.36, a new U18 national record, the 2nd-fastest ever by a Japanese high schooler, and 3rd-fastest-ever U20 mark. Sato took 4th after leading the first three laps, with two of the three people who finished ahead of him going under 3:40. Winner Kazuki Kawamura (Toenec) broke into the all-time Japanese top ten at 3:38.83 and Keisuke Morita (Komori Corp.) was 2nd in 3:39.37. Steeplechase specialist Kazuya Shiojiri  (Fujitsu) followed up his 10000 m win last month in Nobeoka with a 5000 m PB at Kanaguri, dropping a Kenyan trio led by Justus Kevasa  (Honda) for the win in 13:22.80. A total of thirteen people broke 13:40 across heats. Joan Kipkemoi  (Kyudenko) led Japan-based Africans to sweep the top five spots in the women's 5000 m in 15:30.45, with Ethiopian Burka Desta  (Denso) taki