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It's never too early to plan for a marathon

Date Posted: 2010-10-28

Yoron Island wants runners. Lots of them, to participate in what island leaders call a marathon on an island surrounded with beautiful ocean and blue skies, and dreams of a big smile on everyone’s face.

The tiny island located just north of the Okinawa main island — so close, you can see it from Hedo Point on Okinawa’s northern tip — is inviting runners to participate in a full marathon, relay marathon or half marathon on Sunday, March 6th. Since the island’s first marathon in 1992, it’s been a day to remember, organizers say, meeting new, nice people, while learning to appreciate the slow island life and the ocean breeze.

Race day sounds like it’s a long way off, but not really. The runner deadline is Friday, January 21st. The entry fee for the individual full marathon and the half marathon is ¥4,000, or ¥5,000 including a ticket for the March 5th welcome party at Samichiraikan Hall in Yoron Town. The entry fee for the relay team is ¥15,000. The races will be administered under Japan Track and Field Union rules.

Seven hours will be allotted for the 42.195km full marathon and relay marathon and five hours for the relay marathon. A total of 1,500 participants including those on 20 relay teams will be permitted. All full marathon participants must be 18 or older; no high school students will be permitted.

Yoron Island Marathon applications are available at Print-21 (FedEx) concession in the Foster Services Mall, Mail Center on the 1st floor of Kadena BX, and Japanese Post Offices. It’s also possible to pay at Family Mart, through the internet, cellular phones, and credit cards. For information, call 098-021-2052. More about Yoron Island is available at http://www.minkantaishi.org/uuc/yoron/english/ifm/information.htm. Ferries run from Naha and Motobu to Yoron Island. Morale, Welfare and Recreation Centers have information about the island and the marathon.

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