2020, Painful Decision Due to COVID-19
On July 1st, Tsuruga City announced the suspension of the 39th Tsuruga Marathon, which was scheduled to take place on October 18th in Fukui Prefecture’s Tsuruga City, as a preventative measure against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. The Tsuruga City Board of Education stated, “Because of the difficulty in guaranteeing the security of the participants and staff, it is a painful decision”, asking for understanding.
Popular within and outside Fukui Prefecture, the preeminent marathon lets its runners enjoy the scenery of the port city, with 2,549 entrants last year. A number of solutions were explored, such as holding the event while limiting entry to only the city residents; however, it was determined that it is not possible for the runners to avoid forming crowds during the start and finish points, and throughout the course.
The Tsuruga Marathon had also been suspended in 2017 and 2018 due to the Fukui SHIAWASE GENKI National Athletic Meet/Tournament and its pre-tournament.
Year 2020, In Response to the Spread of COVID-19
On June 4th, Echizen City (located within Fukui Prefecture) announced that the 39th Kikka Marathon (jointly organized by Echizen City, the Echizen City Board of Education, the Echizen City Sports Association, the Takefu Chamber of Commerce, and Fukui Shimbun), scheduled for November 3rd, has been suspended in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. It is the first time the event has been suspended.
Occurring every year on Culture Day, the sports event is regarded with affection by the local residents; last year, there were 3,627 participants, joining from within and outside the prefecture. Taking into account a number of major marathons being suspended across and outside the prefecture, it was decided for the Kikka Marathon to be suspended before its application period commenced.
Concerning the reason for suspension, Echizen City expressed, “In the midst of worries regarding the second wave of infection, guaranteeing the safety of the participants and staff members will be difficult,” asking for understanding.
Minamiechizen Town, an Effect of the Novel Coronavirus
In the midst of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a decision was made to suspend the “16th Hanahasu Early Morning Marathon” (jointly sponsored by Fukui Prefecture’s Minamiechizen Town, the Minamiechizen Town Board of Education, the Minamiechizen Town Sports Association, and Fukui Shimbun), which was scheduled for July 5th. Minamiechizen Town made the announcement on March 31st.
This has been the second time the marathon was suspended, with the first being in 2018, due to the effects of a heat wave. This year, entrant applications were intended to being during the last part of April.
Event Scheduled for May 17th in Awara City
In the midst of the continuous spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a decision was made to suspend the “17th Trim Marathon” (jointly sponsored by Fukui Prefecure’s Awara City, the Awara City Board of Education, the Awara City Sports Association, and Fukui Shimbun), which was scheduled to take place on May 17th. Awara City made the announcement on March 31st.
In last year’s Trim Marathon, there were 1,971 participants. For this year’s marathon, there were 115 entrants. The entry fee will be refunded. Regarding the reason for the first time this event was suspended, Awara City stated, “We have determined that it will be difficult to guarantee the safety of the runners, city volunteers, and operational staff.”
Inquiries, including regarding refunds, can be made through the Awara City Sports Department through phone: 0776 (73) 8043.
2020: Sakai City Kojyou Marathon Also Suspended
On March 27th, the respective event sponsors announced the suspension of the “15th Sakai City Kojyou Marathon” (第１５回坂井市古城マラソン), scheduled for June 7th, and the events of the “61st Sabae Azalea Festival” (第６１回さばえつつじまつり), scheduled from May 3rd to 5th at Sabae City’s Nishiyama Park and the city centre.
“It has become difficult to completely guarantee the safety of the runners and staff, as well as the provisions against the virus,” explained Sakai City, concerning the reason for the marathon’s suspension. The entry fee will be refunded.
Although all events of the Azalea Festival have been suspended, the parking area around Sabae City Hall will be open for free during Golden Week, from April 29th to May 6th. As for the stalls, including food stands, as long as proper infection countermeasures are carried out, such as opening up space between stalls and performing thorough disinfection, there are plans for the stalls to set up shop. The executive committee expressed an appeal to prospective attendants, “There is no problem in enjoying the azaleas, but please take safety into full consideration, and refrain from things such as holding large gatherings in the park.”