Dont miss out on the marathons

Races opening or re-opening for registration let you hit the road

Don’t miss out on the marathons

The participation lottery results for the 5th Tokyo Marathon to be held on February 27, 2011 have been announced. Last year 335,147 people put their name into the draw; with a race capacity of 32,000 runners, applicants had only a 9.2% chance of success. There are a good many people who missed out and will be waiting for the second round draw. In addition, calls for volunteers for this event have also begun. The volunteer positions are very popular and it’s a case of ‘first come, first serve’, so be sure to get your application in quick.

If you can’t get in on the Tokyo Marathon, don’t despair; there are plenty more marathons around. Registration for the 45th Ome Memorial Marathon reopened on October 20, and registration opened on October 22 for the half- marathon 30th Frostbite Road Race, to be held at the Fussa Air Base. This is also set to be a popular race so be sure to check it out.

Full marathons

2011 Kasumigaura Marathon

The date for this grand scale event in Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki has been set for April 17, 2011. The course starts at Kawaguchi Athletic Park which is located a five minute walk from the east exit of JR Tsuchiura Station. Runners do a lap along the shore at the halfway point of the Kasumigaura Shiryokan, then return to the Kawaguchi Athletic Park. In addition to the full marathon there is also a ten mile, five km and wheelchair races. In 2010, 14,774 people competed. Registration is scheduled to open in late December.

Date: Sun Apr 17 (Event details)

Tokushima Marathon 2011

While it’s a little far to get to Kansai, this popular race has been chosen as one of the top 100 races in Japan. The scenery while running is beautiful, with views of Mt Bizan – which has been written about in the oldest collection of Japanese poetry, the ‘Manyoshu’ – and there are easy courses to run. In addition the, the last replenishment station is also pretty special. There’s a seven-hour time limit on completing the course. In 2010, 93.7% of participants completed the full marathon. Details of the 2011 competition will be announced in late October. Registration opens on November 1, 2010.

Date: Mar 20, 2011 (Event details)

30K races

45th Memorial Ome Marathon

This event will be held in February 2011. Registration opened on August 30, but the race was so popular it was full after a mere two weeks. The course starts at the Japan Tobacco Ome office, and runners head towards Kawai where they turns around and head towards the finish line in front of the Ome City Gymnasium 30km later.

Date: Sun Feb 20, 2011 (Event details)

Gunma, Ansei Tooashi Samurai Marathon

This marathon with a history is held on the second Sunday of every May. Itakura Shoin, the Annaka feudal lord, started this as a foot race to train the minds and bodies of his warriors during the Edo period. There’s an approximately 30km ‘mountain pass course’ and a ‘barrier course’ of approximately 20km. The pass course starts and finishes at an elevation of over 1000m, making it very physically demanding. Another draw to this race is the fact that over 80% of participants dress up in costumes. In fact there are so many people wearing costumes that those not wearing them stand out. Registration usually opens in the middle of February.

Date: Sat May 8, 2011 (Event details)

Half marathons

30th Frost Bite Road Race

This race is held in the Yokota Air base, which is located in Fussa, Tokyo. A race through an air base is almost one of a kind, and it means that the course is flat and easy to run. The pair of trainers given as an award for participation is not just useful for the race itself but are trainers out of which participants will get a lot of use, making it part of the reason the event is so popular. Registration opened on October 22. A deposit must be made when registering, and registration will close when the maximum capacity is reached.

Date: Sat Jan 16, 2011 (Event details)

Paracup 2011

This charity event, which is held every April, will be held next year on April 10, 2011. With the event’s theme as ‘Giving the gift of running to children’, the event has the goal of supporting children in the Philippines as well as other less fortunate children around the world. Registration will open in December.

Date: Sun Apr 10, 2011 (Event details)

Ekiden races

Au×Adidas Ekiden Grand Prix

In this Ekiden race, a team of four people run 23km in Yume no Shima, Tokyo (Stage 1: 10km; Stage 2: 5km; Stage 3: 3km; Stage 4: 5km). If you haven’t been running for long this is an ideal race to do with your friends as the distances of each leg are relatively short, not to mention that standing on the podium with your teammates is also a fun prospect.

Date: Sat Dec 11 (Event details)

2010 Christmas Ekiden

In this Ekiden a team of four run 20km (4 sections of 5km each). The course starts off at Yume no Shima Athletic field, and participants run through the park before returning to the athletics field. As this race is held on Christmas Day, it’s also fun to dress up as Santa or his reindeer. Participating in this event is the perfect way to end the year. Registration opened on October 16.

Date: Sat Dec 25 (Event details)

By Akiko Toya
Translated by E. Kavanagh
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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