February 2021 Kumamoto Castle Marathon, 10,444 Finishers This Year, and Elite-Only Kumanichi 30 km Canceled Due to Coronavirus
On July 3 the organizing committee of the Kumamoto Castle Marathon, tentatively scheduled for the third Sunday of February, 2021, announced that the race has been canceled. Organizers cited the difficulty of preventing the spread of coronavirus infections at the marathon, which had 10,444 finishers at this year's edition. Since its first running in 2012 it is the first time the Kumamoto Castle Marathon has been canceled.
Also canceled are the accompanying shorter distance races including Kumanichi 30 km, an elite-only event with 79 finishers this year. It is likewise the first cancelation in the Kumanichi 30 km's 65-year-history. Between the mass-participation marathon, elite 30 km and 3 km fun run, over 14,000 people took part this year. Next year was to have been the event's 10th anniversary running.
Translator's note: As far as I know this is the first major Japanese race and first 10,000+ marathon worldwide in 2021 to cancel due to the coronavirus situation. It's a major blow to any optimism about any kind of a return to the regular racing calendar in the foreseeable future.
The video above is pretty cool, at least. Takashi Kono, this year's Kumamoto Castle Marathon winner in 2:18:35, wore a GoPro, shot the entire race, and uploaded it to Youtube. Get the first-person POV experience of winning a marathon sub-2:20.
translated by Brett Larner