Tokyo hosts the Smile Marathon, the first road race in more than three months

While Tokyo Olympic organizers are wringing their hands about running the upcoming Olympics without a vaccine, the 22nd Smile Marathon was went ahead on Sunday in Tokyo. It was the first road race in the city since COVID-19 shut things down in March.

According to Japan Running News, the event was successful and appeared to promote safe distancing. “There was a wide range of distances on offer: 30K, half, 10K, 5K and a 3K family run. One of the operational goals this time was to avoid large crowds of participants, so bib pickup times were staggered for the different divisions. Staff wearing face shields took participants’ temperatures, then people had to fill out a checklist on their physical condition.

They then picked up their bib numbers and participation goods from a tent where staff were behind a clear plastic sheet.”

The first U.S. marathon of the summer of 2020 is set to take place in August. The Fargo Marathon in North Dakota announced it has been green-lit by the state to host the event.

In the last month, restrictions have eased across the U.S., and on June 18, race organizers released a statement announcing that the event would go ahead as planned later this summer. This will likely make it the first marathon held in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic. 

Racing will hopefully slowly begin in Canada in the coming months, however, a slow roll-out is a safe roll-out and Canadian runners will be ready when the time comes. 

posted Thursday June 25th
by Madeleine Kelly