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14 August 2020, 10am

Second-tier elite race with limited field – Mass event down to 450 from 3000

Hofu Yomiuri Marathon will go ahead

by Brett Larner

Very much against the trend towards cancellation of running events for the next six months the organisers of the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon on 20 December announced that they will go ahead with this year's race as planned with a limited field.

It will be a second-tier elite race with a small mass-participation field of 450 compared to the usual number of 3000.

Hofu’s invited elite field is usually a dozen Japan-based male athletes. Along with them, this year’s race will include around 100 men and women with Japanese Corporate League Federation registration for 2020, up to 200 male and female residents of Yamaguchi prefecture, where the race takes place, who have bettered four hours in the marathon in the last three years, and up to 100 people who live, work, or go to school in the city of Hofu and who have beaten four hours since 2017. An important race on the para sports circuit, Hofu will also accept an unspecified number of IPC-registered male and female athletes.

Although it shuts out any non-corporate league women who don’t live in Yamaguchi, Hofu’s decision to go ahead makes it the only remaining option in Japan this year for elite-level women. The Fukuoka International Marathon on 6 December has yet to make a public announcement about this year’s race, but it is likewise expected to go ahead with a limited field size. Hofu will probably serve to take the overflow men from Fukuoka depending on the final field size that is announced there.

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