Summer in Morioka is officially over which means the weather is starting to cool down and runners everywhere are taking advantage of it. Long winters can make running difficult, not to mention, dangerous, here and late spring and autumn are the perfect time to get outside and explore the city.
This year on Sunday, October 27 starting from 9 am, the first Morioka Marathon will be held. For those non-runners, it’s probably not a big deal, but it’s exciting to watch regardless and for tourism, it’s quite the draw. Firstly, it’s being marketed as the first and only full marathon in the Tohoku region. Traveling to participate in running events can be expensive so for locals or people in this area, it’s sure to be one of the big events of the year.
Secondly, the course is also approved by the Japan Athletics Federation so it’s going to attract professional athletes and therefore, impressive times. In Japan, it’s common for people to say they’re doing a marathon, but it doesn’t always mean the 42.195 km. In this case, there is a full marathon as well as a fun run of 8.8 km (some people might think that’s too long for fun!) and the pair run of 2.5 km if you’re looking to ease yourself into it.
Entries for the full marathon are already closed and they’re capping numbers at 7000 people with a time limit of 6 hours to complete the course. Don’t despair though if you do still want to enter; just contact the organizers via the website (details below).
The course starts at Iwate University and finishes at Morioka Central Park. Those looking for a flat course won’t find it here, with some good-sized hills around the 25-30 km mark. For those who enjoy a bit of exploring while they’re running, this is a great course to not only see Morioka City but also take in the surrounding sights.
Upon completion, all participants will receive a t-shirt and medal. For the shorter runs, medals and towels are the complimentary prizes. Even if you’re not into running, it’s a great event to watch and cheer on the athletes and for a relatively small place that doesn’t see major tourist activity, it’s a plus for Morioka. Let’s hope the nice autumn weather that Morioka is known for cooperates on the day!
Check out the official website https://iwate-morioka-city-marathon.jp/ for more information (Japanese only- use Google Chrome if you prefer to see a translated English version).
Yottanesia [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons