We regret to inform you that the 36th East Japan Women's Ekiden scheduled to be held Nov. 8 has been canceled in an effort to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. We attempted to put together a risk management protocol under which the event could be safely staged, but with teams made up of runners including junior high school and high school students from 18 regions traveling across prefectural borders we determined that it would be difficult to guarantee a completely safe event environment.
In the 35 years since this race began in 1985 it has never been canceled, not even after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. But with the health of all participants and personnel our absolute highest priority we felt that canceling this year's edition was the correct step to take. We regret that this was necessary, but we are already at work together with the Tohoku Athletics Association to begin preparations for the 2021 race.
We ask for you understanding and support of this decision. We hope in sincerity that the coronavirus crisis comes to end soon, that all of you are able to return to the lives to which you are accustomed, and that we will be able once again to put on and enjoy races the way we all know and love.
Fukushima Television Co. Ltd.,
Organizers, East Japan Women's Ekiden
translated by Brett Larner