Osaka Women’s Marathon Conducted in Circular Course

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Participants in the annual Osaka Women’s Marathon run a circular course on Sunday.

The annual Osaka Women’s Marathon was held in an unusual environment on Sunday under a state of emergency declared due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Aiming to prevent crowds of spectators along the roadside, the marathon course, which used to run through central Osaka, was moved to a circular course at Nagai Park in the city for this year’s competition.

To prevent people from entering the course and discourage spectators from gathering around the area, fences about 2 meters high were installed to surround the venue.

Marathoners needed to run about 15 laps on the 2.8-kilometer circular course, and just like in track events, a bell was rang to remind runners of their final lap.

“I was running lap by lap, thinking only about my time. I was able to concentrate [on the race],” said Mao Ichiyama, the 23-year-old winner of the race.