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Race previews Gifu Half Marathon

01 January 2018, 8am

“Crossroads of Japan” offers scenic route

Gifu Half Marathon

Gifu Half Marathon
Sun 22 April 2018

The Gifu Half Marathon honours Naoko Takahashi, the gold medalist in the women’s marathon at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games who went on to become the first woman to run under 2 hours 20 minutes in the 2001 Berlin Marathon. She is a major international star and comes from Gifu Prefecture.

The City of Gifu is a castle town with a rich history and culture located in the centre of the country and regarded throughout history as the ‘crossroads of Japan’. Gifu was named by the feudal lord Oda Nobunaga during his campaign to unify all of Japan in 1567. The first character comes from Qishan, a legendary mountain from which most of China was unified, and the second from Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius.

The race is held in late April every year and attracts about 10,000 participants ranging from enthusiastic amateurs to some of the world’s top athletes. The race route is very scenic. It runs through the downtown area and then proceeds to the banks of the Nagara River.

The Gifu Half Marathon is a highly competitive race for top athletes and has attracted the participation of the world record holder in the women’s half marathon and many members of national teams contesting the Olympics and the World Championships. Yet the official time limit extends to as much as three hours and makes the race beginner-friendly.

One of the missions of the Gifu Half Marathon is to promote charity through sport. It offers charity entry programs and conducts charity auctions to raise funds in four specific categories including promoting sports for people with disabilities and supporting disaster- and conflict-affected regions. Gifu was the epicenter of the second most powerful earthquake ever to hit Japan on 28 October 1891. It left a fault scar that can still be seen today.

More and more runners choose to join the race’s charitable activities and the circle of support generated has blossomed over recent years.

See the latest news from Gifu Half Marathon


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