Saga Sakura Marathon Saga Sakura Marathon Saga Sakura Marathon
Date Date Date April 3, 2016 April 3, 2016 April 3, 2016 Location Location Location Saga Saga Saga Web Site Web Site Web Site http://www.sagasakura-marathon.jp/ http://www.sagasakura-marathon.jp/ http://www.sagasakura-marathon.jp/ Athletic event Athletic event Athletic event Full marathon etc. Full marathon etc. Full marathon etc.
Few things evoke the traditional beauty of Japan more than the image of sakura, cherry blossoms adorning branches overhead, petals fluttering through the air in welcome of spring. The Saga Sakura Marathon gets both its course and timing right, offering a beautiful run on roads lined and shaded by delicate pink flowers that soothe the mind as you face the challenge of the marathon.
Located in the far west of Japan between the better-known cities of Fukuoka and Nagasaki, the city of Saga is situated on a plain between mountains and ocean and offers one of the flattest marathon courses in Japan with average April temperatures near 15 degrees Celsius. After a long history as a half-marathon 2016 will be only the Saga Sakura Marathon’s fourth running as a full marathon, but it already features world-class course records of 2:13:02 for men and 2:36:20 for women, some of the fastest in the country outside of Japan’s famed elite racing circuit. It also boasts a finisher rate of over 90%, another indication of its quality as a race where participants can run their best whatever their level.
Saga’s proximity to South Korea and the rest of Asia also means that it already welcomes a sizeable international contingent to its marathon, and it has even had its first overseas winner in 2014 women’s champion Hua Yang of China. The city of Saga features an international airport, with bus connection to nearby Fukuoka Airport ensuring easy travel to the race for all guests coming from abroad.
And of course the main reason runners come, whether from other countries or from elsewhere in Japan, is for the cherry blossoms. Cherry trees are scattered throughout the course, but four sections feature spectacular concentrations. The first comes less than 5 km into the race as runners circle the Saga Prefectural Government Offices. The next is near 20 km just before runners cross the Jobara River on the way to a loop through beautiful Yoshinogari Historical Park, the third group of cherry trees coming on the return trip just after 25 km. The last and longest stretch of pink appears just when runners need reassurance the most, between 35 and 40 km just before they enter the Prefectural Track and Field Grounds for the finish. Whether it is your first marathon in Japan or another on your checklist you couldn’t ask for a race that shows you the traditional symbolic beauty of Japan more than the Saga Sakura Marathon.