Lake Biwa Marathon to be Subsumed Into Osaka Marathon beginning in 2022
On Dec. 25 it was learned that the longest-running marathon in Japan, the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, will become a part of the Osaka Marathon beginning in 2022.
Following Lake Biwa's 76th edition on Feb. 28, 2021, it will next take place under the tentative title of the 10th Osaka Marathon and 77th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon Combined Competition.
The Osaka Marathon executive committee finalized the plan at a meeting in Osaka on Dec. 25. Plans call for the 2022 race to take place on Feb. 27 utilizing the existing Osaka course.
With an eye toward World Athletics' preference for large-scale races that combine elite and mass participation marathons, the plan will combine Lake Biwa's history of attracting top-level international and domestic athletes with Osaka's status as the second-largest mass-participation marathon behind only the Tokyo Marathon.
Organizers are aiming to go one level higher than Lake Biwa's current World Athletics ranking of gold to achieve the top-level platinum ranking, and hope that the arrival of such a prestigious event will help pave the way for success for the Kansai region at the 2025 Osaka World Expo.
Lake Biwa's first edition in 1946 was held in Osaka, moving to its current location in 1962. Its lakeside course has welcomed countless famous athletes and helped produced a large number of Olympic and World Championships team members.
The Osaka Marathon began in 2011. Starting in front of the Osaka Government Offices, its course passes many of Osaka's most popular tourist sites before finishing at Osaka Castle Park.
Its 10th running in late November this year was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis, but it had attracted a field of 35,000 entrants.
posted Monday December 28th
by Brett Larner