27 July 2021, 3pm
The Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon boasted the longest history of any marathon in Japan. It has traditionally been a men-only elite race with approximately 300 entries each year. In order to catch up with the trends of the world’s major marathon races the race organisers have decided to move the race, leaving the beloved course in Otsu city in Shiga prefecture and relocating to Osaka, using the course of the present Osaka Marathon, and combining the elite race with the mass participation Osaka Marathon.
The 10th Osaka Marathon was to be held in November 2020 with 32,000 participants anticipated but had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organisation of the event itself is perfect but until 2019 Osaka Marathon had not had attracted serious elite athletes.
On 27 February 2022 a new event had been planned, combining the 10th Osaka Marathon and the 77th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon with a total of 35,000 runners provided. Because of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 virus this number has now been revised to 20,000.
The elite race level of the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon will be maintained on the Osaka Marathon course route. The Japan Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF), the Osaka Prefecture and the Mainichi Newspapers will be the joint organisers of the race, and NHK will continue to broadcast on TV, providing live coverage in Japan and overseas. The invited athletes will be sufficient in quality and quantity to retain a Gold Label. The Mainichi Newspapers will remain responsible for the management of the elite athletes.