Gunma, Ansei Tooashi Samurai Marathon
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This marathon with a history is held on the second Sunday of every May. Itakura Shoin, the Annaka feudal lord, started this as a foot race to train the minds and bodies of his warriors during the Edo period. There’s an approximately 30km ‘mountain pass course’ and a ‘barrier course’ of approximately 20km. The pass course starts and finishes at an elevation of over 1000m, making it very physically demanding. Another draw to this race is the fact that over 80% of participants dress up in costumes. In fact there are so many people wearing costumes that those not wearing them stand out. Registration usually opens in the middle of February.