11 April 2018, 7am
Sun 26 August 2018
Japanese summers are generally hot and humid and offer very poor conditions for running marathons. But Sapporo, on the far side of the North Island of Hokkaido, enjoys a more temperate climate and hosts the only full distance marathon to take place in summer. In 1987 only 439 runners entered the race but by 2016 it had expanded entries to 20,000.
Japanese elite athletes as well as domestic and overseas amateur runners participate in the race. Last year 519 foreign entrants from 22 countries and regions took part.
The course starts and finishes in Odori Park, beloved by citizens and tourists alike, located in the heart of Sapporo. The race starts with a countdown using the digital clock of the landmark Sapporo TV Tower. Runners pass through the green campus of Hokkaido University, then by the former Hokkaido Government red-brick office building, an important cultural property of the country.
Apart from the marathon, which is open to runners who can complete the distance within five hours, there is also a 12.1km fun run, which is subject to a 1 hour 45 minute time limit.
Hokkaido is a popular tourist destination blessed with abundant nature and panoramic scenery. A variety of gourmet delights tempt visitors such as the fresh marine and farm products, ramen noodles and Genghis Khan mutton barbecue. Summer is the best time to visit Sapporo for sightseeing as the weather is usually comfortable with low humidity and cool refreshing air. Join us in the Hokkaido Marathon and enjoy summer in Hokkaido to the fullest.