Are you too keen on candy to run a marathon? Do you need sugary enticement to get you to that finishing line? Then the Aichi Sweets Marathon in Moricoro Park is right up your, um, running track. While gobbling down sweets mid-run may seem like a major contradiction, the Sweets Marathon – with events also in Chiba, Tokyo and Osaka – has grown exponentially in popularity since its inception in 2010, and the 2019 edition is expected to be its biggest yet.
Competitors can choose which distance they prefer to run, a 6km event or a 30km ‘marathon’ (in Japanese a ‘marathon’ often means a long-distance run rather than strictly the full 42km). Much like regular marathons, there are stops along the route at which you can refuel, but unlike standard marathon practices, where these would be rehydration stops, here you can gorge yourself on enough sweets to give you the energy to get along to the next stage.
Also unlike a regular marathon, the emphasis is not necessarily on individual competition, as those who find the distances a little too daunting may make teams of up to ten friends and family to create a relay. This means that not only you can allow stronger runners to put in the lion’s share of the work, but you can also enjoy the event with those who may otherwise struggle with the demands of long-distance running.
As well as the distance races, there is also a 1.5 km children’s marathon so that your kids can get in on the sweet action. However, bear in mind that children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, so it means that you cannot send them off to run around the track while you take it easy.
The Aichi Sweets Marathon is an event for all ages, but as perhaps is to be expected for this sweets-related event, a large proportion of the competitors are women (over 60 percent in 2018), though as the website says, ‘sweet boys’ are very much welcome. Almost half of those taking part are first-time marathon runners, and many people dress up in costumes to not only increase the fun but also the Instagrammable (or ‘Instabae’, in Japanese) nature of the event.
If you, your friends and family want to get involved, you should act fast. The deadline for entry is November 4, though this may be brought forward if the capacity is reached. The cost of entry varies depending on the race (see here for details).
However, if you want to enjoy the day with your family and friends without getting all out of breath, you can still go along and indulge yourself at the sweets stalls selling the various products that participants can snaffle on the track. There will also be a number of stalls selling hot food.
As well as the marathon, there is plenty more to enjoy at Moricoro Park for all the family. For more information check out our review, here.