Press release – Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2021

The Nagoya Women’s Marathon is delighted to announce that the Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2021 will be staged in Nagoya city, Japan on Sunday, March 14, 2021, as planned.

Launched in 2012, the Nagoya Women’s Marathon is the world’s largest women’s marathon and is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year after having hosted a total of 160,000 women runners under the theme ‘the day women play the starring role’. The event is known for the exclusive Tiffany & Co. finisher pendant presented to each runner who crossed the finish line and has enjoyed popularity among women runners around the world for producing countless smiles and emotional moments.

Nagoya has been awarded a World Athletics Platinum label, the highest ranking in the World Athletics’ classification system for road races, and is the first-ever event to hold the world record of the largest women’s marathon of all time certified by Guinness World Records.

Photo credit:  Nagoya Women’s Marathon

Due to the global pandemic of COVID-19, the number of participants was halved from the past years from 22,000 to 11,000 at the time of race entry. Considering the further infection status in Japan, the marathon decided to accept requests from the registered entrants who wished to switch their entry to a virtual race, the Nagoya Women’s Online Marathon 2021, which in the end made the in-person race an event of 5,000 participants. Although it was a hard decision to make, Nagoya accepts overseas runners only in the virtual race this year. 

The organizers are committed to take all possible measures against infection to hold the safest and most secure event possible for participating runners, volunteers and all concerned. The event’s infection control plan was determined in accordance with the Japan Association of Athletics Federations’ Guidance on Resumption of Road Racing and following advice of medical professionals and local government officials. The plan mandates all parties to wear masks (except for runners during competition), sanitize hands, have temperature checked, and monitor health conditions for 7 days prior to and 14 days after race day. The event will also practice physical distancing with enlarged space per person and reduced capacity of the event areas, supply covered water and packed food at refreshment stations, and station private emergency vehicles for suspected infection cases.

Nagoya will be the first mass participation distance race to be held in Japan since the coronavirus started to spread. Even on a global level, it will be the first World Athletics Platinum label road race to be held in person with both elite and non-elite runners on this scale.
The Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2021, to be held in the ‘new normal’ way this weekend, will serve as a ‘new start’ and pave the way for the return of full-scale marathon races in the future.     

Teddy Okamura, Race Director of the Nagoya Women’s Marathon commented, “To fulfill our responsibility as a World Athletics Platinum label road race and a stage for athletes to compete and go to larger international competitions, we have spent a long time in examining how we could ensure safe and secure participation of runners, volunteers and all parties involved. By taking every possible precaution at the ‘new normal’ Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2021, we hope to make a ‘new start’ for the future with all concerned parties.”