Skip to main content

Cancelations Hit Beppu-Oita and Nobeoka Marathons

The latest wave of race cancelations sweeping Japan as its coronavirus case numbers climb to record highs hit two elite-level marathons Friday, the Feb. 6 Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon and Feb. 13 Nobeoka Nishi Nihon Marathon.

Planned as a full-sized race with 4,184 entrants, with just two weeks to go Beppu-Oita announced that in an effort to cope with the worsening situation it was limiting its field to those with sub-2:30 times and their pacers, IPC athletes, and local entrants, all required to be fully vaccinated and tested within a short period before the race. Its new limited field of 543 takes Beppu-Oita back to its roots as an elite-only race, but the remaining 3600+ entrants find themselves out of luck.

Just down the coast, Nobeoka took an even more conservative approach. Planned with a field size of only 200 plus an invited athlete field of what would probably have been another 8 or 10, the city government announced on Friday that the race has been canceled outright. In the announcement officials cited the prefecture having been placed under a partial state of emergency the same day as a reason for the cancelation. With Tokyo and Nagoya likewise named to the partial state of emergency list and Osaka having asked the government on Friday to be added, an impact on the upcoming marathons in those cities seems inevitable.

© 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Buy Me A Coffee

Comments

Most-Read This Week

JAAF and NHK Apologize for Camera Crew Interfering With Men's 10000 m National Championships

The JAAF has issued a joint apology with meet broadcaster NHK to the athletes and teams affected by an incident during the May 7 10000 m National Championships at Tokyo's National Stadium. An NHK TV camera entered the track area and stretched out a cable in front of an oncoming athlete, who collided with it. According to the JAAF and NHK, during the men's 10000 m A-heat, a two-person NHK camera crew in the infield area stepped out onto the track surface to get a closer shot of the top finishers. A cable extending back from the camera operator to his assistant caught athlete Shinji Mita of the Sunbelx corporate team in the neck, interfering with his performance. Immediately afterward, as the camera crew moved to get off the track they entered the path of another four oncoming athletes, who had to slow down as they tried to avoid colliding with the camera crew. All five athletes finished the race and were listed in the official results. Mita was taken to a hospital for examin

The Undeath of Historic Japanese Marathons: Lake Biwa Comeback Planned for 2023

After seeing its final edition in Shiga last year and then being absorbed into the Osaka Marathon  in March this year, the legacy of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon will continue with a successor race to be held on Mar. 12 next year. Since the previous event wrapped up, the Shiga prefectural government has been examining holding a mass-participation race celebrating the tradition of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon and has been looking at potential course and date options. In January they sought suggestions for a name for the event and selected "Lake Biwa Marathon" from among the submissions. The organizing committee came together in April to determine the new event's date and course. The race will begin at Ojiyama Field, historical starting point of the former race, and will cross Omi Bridge before heading north along Lake Biwa's eastern shore. Covering 42.195 km, it will feature a turnaround point in Moriyama before finishing at Lake Biwa Museum located on the Kara

Hironaka and Aizawa Win 10000 m National Titles

A crowd reported at over 6000 filled the lower stands at Tokyo's National Stadium Saturday to see the 10000 m component of this year's National Track and Field Championships . In the women's race, Ririka Hironaka (Japan Post) and Rino Goshima (Shiseido) sealed up their places on the Oregon World Championships team by going 1st and 3rd, with NR holder Akira Aizawa (Asahi Kasei) making a comeback for the win in the men's race but falling short of the Worlds standard. The dynamic in the women's race was changed dramatically a few hours before the race when top-ranked Seira Fuwa (Takushoku Univ.) announced she had withdrawn after not making enough progress in her comeback from an injury in January. In her absence Goshima took things out on pace to crack the standard, which only she, Hironaka and top collegian Narumi Kobayashi (Meijo Univ.) held going into the race. Following Goshima's lead were Hironaka, Kaede Hagitani (Edion), Mikuni Yada (Denso), Sayaka Sa