22 February 2021, 12pm
Nagoya Women’s Marathon
Sun 14 March 2021
Up front are last year’s Osaka International Women’s Marathon winner Mizuki Matsuda, 25 km national record co-holder Sayaka Sato, and Tokyo Olympics marathon team member Ayuko Suzuki. Suzuki is only 9th by recent time, but with a half marathon best of 1:07:55 and this being her first shot at a fast marathon she’s definitely got the potential to stay with Matsuda and Sato.
Nagoya is heavy this year on talent in the first-timer department, Ikumi Fukura coming in top-ranked with a best of 1:09:58 and four others with bests under 71 minutes. Further down the field, 62-year-old Mariko Yugeta will be trying to better the 2:52:13 60+ world record she set in Osaka this year.
Before Corona Nagoya was the largest women-only marathon in the world but last year it was held as an elite-only race. This year it took mass-participation entrants up to a limit of 11,000. Earlier this month Nagoya issued a statement inviting entrants to switch to a virtual race, but at this stage it looks like it will go ahead with an on-site race for every entrant who still wants to run, assuming no extension to the current state of emergency set to expire on 7 March. With every other race in Japan that size having already cancelled or postponed this season, going ahead with its race would put Nagoya in a class of its own and give some much-needed hope that things are actually starting to turn around.