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Friday, Jan. 20, 2012
Get ready for a sweet race
By TOMOKO OTAKE
Calorie watchers and fitness freaks should no longer feel guilty for nibbling at sweets — that is, if they join the upcoming Sweets Marathon.
The event is an interesting attempt at combining "fun runs" and the promotion of local delicacies. Sweets Marathon events — organized by Tokyo-based event-planning company International Sports Marketing — have grown in popularity since the first race was held in Osaka in November 2010. That first marathon attracted 1,800 runners, who were supplied with a colorful assortment of mini-cakes and desserts at aid stations. There were also 5,000 spectators, who, on top of cheering for participants, had the opportunity to visit booths selling various kinds of sweets.
Having traveled to Hokkaido, Fukuoka and back again to Osaka last year, and following the success of the Tokyo race last weekend in the capital's Odaiba waterfront district, organizers are now accepting applications for the upcoming races in Kobe (March 4) and Yokohama (March 18).
The races range from the ekiden-type relay marathons to 5-km and 10-km runs. At both venues, participation costs ¥4,000 for adults and ¥3,000 for elementary and junior high school children. The deadline for entries is Feb. 13, and entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and with a limit of 2,000 participants at each venue.
For more information (in Japanese) about Sweets Marathon in Kobe and Yokohama, visit www.sweets-marathon.jp.