Tokyo 2020: Olympic marathon set, three loops on a course in Sapporo

Both the men’s and women’s 2020 Olympics marathon courses will start and finish in Sapporo's Odori Park, the organizers have confirmed.

IOC, IAAF staffs inspect Sapporo City to decide Marathon course on December 14, 2019 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.   -  Getty Images

The races were moved out of Tokyo over a month ago to the northern city of Sapporo to avoid the capital's summer heat. Organizers finalized the course plans on Thursday.

Both the men’s and women’s courses will start and finish in the city’s Odori Park. The course for both races will consist of three loops. One loop will be about the length of a half-marathon and will be run first. The other loop will be about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and will be covered twice.

The women’s race will be run on Aug. 8 and the men’s marathon on the following day — the final day of the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) unilaterally moved the marathons and race walks out of Tokyo because of the summer heat, which angered Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. She fought the move, losing a chance for Tokyo to show off its colorful streets lined with shrines and temples, skyscrapers, and packed restaurants and bars.

The Paralympic marathons will remain in Tokyo and should avoid the heat since the Paralympics begin two weeks after the Olympics end and extend into the cooler month of September.