Chitose JAL International Marathon returns after two-year absence

Full marathon runners taking off energetically under a blue sky

The 42nd Chitose JAL International Marathon was held on June 5, starting and ending at Aoba Park in Chitose City. It was suspended until this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and finally returned after a two-year absence. Though participant count was decreased to half of normal as an infection prevention measure, 4,138 runners from inside and outside of Hokkaido successfully ran the early summer course under a blue sky.

The marathon usually includes the five events of the full marathon, half marathon, 10 km course, 3 km course, and family marathon (3 km), but this year narrowed the events down to the two options of the full marathon and the 17 km course, and did not include international or invited runners. Both events split runners into groups of about 500 participants and held successive starts ten minutes apart. The runners gave their all along stretches including the verdant forest road the area alongside the Chitose River as city residents looked on, holding signs of support.

The full marathon male winner was third-time participant and first-time winner Harada Taku (38, Aichi Prefecture) at 2 hours 19 minutes and 29 seconds. The full marathon female winner was fifth-time winner Fujisawa Mai (47, Sapporo), with a Chitose JAL International Marathon new record of 2 hours 40 minutes and 46 seconds.


Aoba Park