As announced in SEI NEWS Vol.422, the 68th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, supported by Sumitomo Electric, will start at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 3.
Last year’s race saw impressive performances by Mr. Ryo Yamamoto and Mr. Kentaro Nakamoto, who both went on to compete in the London Olympics. This year’s entrants have yet to be finalized, but being the qualifying race for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, the race will most certainly bring together top runners from Japan and the world. Since men’s marathons held in Japan in recent years have predominantly been won by foreign athletes, I am hoping, as a keen track-and-field fan, that our home athletes too will make good showings this year.
Marathons require the use of public roads, and as such their success depends not only on the hard work of race organizers but also on the cooperation and support of the local community. In addition to being Japan’s oldest marathon, the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon is granted the prestigious status of an IAAF Gold Label road race. I sincerely admire the efforts of everyone involved in developing the event into what it is today.
Otsu City, which will set the stage for the race, dates back to the reign of Emperor Tenchi. The city is rich in historical and natural assets including the site of Sakamoto Castle, built by Akechi Mitsuhide, and Ukimido (Mangetsuji Temple), made famous by Utagawa Hiroshige’s work Descending Geese at Katada from the series Eight Views of Omi.
I heard that the race would be broadcast both nationally and internationally. We are looking to support the event to make it a success and also showcase Shiga Prefecture and Otsu City, as well as Japan in a positive light.