On November 20, 2011, the 1st Kobe Marathon was held, and large numbers of runners from Japan and abroad ran through the streets of Kobe to make this city’s first marathon an unqualified success. Thank you to all involved.

The Kobe Marathon started from zero. The key to its success was the understanding, support, and cooperation of all concerned, including the organizers of the event itself, the citizens of Kobe City and Hyogo Prefecture, volunteers, sponsor corporations, the Hyogo Prefectural Police, and the officials of the prefecture and city, all of whom helped in the preparations for staging this event.

As a result of this commitment, 22,394 runners completed the race and I’m sure that all would agree that joy, excitement, and gratitude were the watchwords of the day. The words “see you here again next year…” were repeated everywhere. I believe that the dreams we all had for the Kobe Marathon were realized.

The Prefectural governor, mayor of Kobe City, and the superintendents of schools at the prefectural and city levels were all waiting with us at the finish line to welcome across the final runners. Along with the gratitude we felt in our hearts, we all enjoyed the satisfaction of having attended and realized that the long hours we had put into the race were well justified.

The theme of that event was Thanks and Friendship. Were the event concepts — volunteer spirit and the spirit of hospitality — achieved as envisaged? Were our hopes communicated to all the runners, the people of Hyogo Prefecture, and the citizens of Kobe? With these questions in mind, we sought to verify the success of the event based on a host of facts and data, and have now moved on to start the next event.

The 2nd marathon will be held on November 25 (Sunday), 2012. Running the marathon on the same day as the Osaka Marathon raised major issues. However, in terms of running, watching, and supporting, we are aiming at a high-quality event in accordance with the themes and concepts we have set. We hope that everyone connected with this year’s marathon will agree that it was worthwhile and will look forward in anticipation of next year’s event and prepare for it with all their energy.

Finally, I would like to once again, wholeheartedly and sincerely, thank each and every one of you, and ask for your cooperation with the 2nd marathon this year as we steadily prepare for this upcoming event.

I am sure we can continue to rely on your support and cooperation. Thank you for your commitment.

Masaaki Uetsuki
Kobe Marathon Secretariat