A message from the Executive Chairman

Executive Chairman of the Gassan Ryujin Marathon
Taketoshi Abe

Running the roads of the Legendary Dragon God


As the executive chairman of the Gassan Ryujin Marathon, I look forward to welcoming you to Yamagata Prefecture this fall. 


Last year, we were blessed with beautiful autumn weather and we hope for clear blue skies again this year. This race is unique to the town of Shonai and was created to bring joy to both runners and the local community. We hope that runners will feel the warmth of the support from the local community and in return, give strength to them with a high-five! At the Gassan Ryujin Marathon, race capacity has been set to 1,000 runners so that all runners will feel at ease and enjoy the course to its fullest extent. 


Around here, there is a story that has been passed down about a Dragon God that lives at the Tachiyazwakawa River in the valley of Mt. Gassan, where the race will take place. The villagers in this area worship the Dragon God, who once stopped a giant boulder from destroying their village when the Tachiyazawakawa River began overflowing from heavy rains. You may visit the Dragon God during your run and we encourage you to visit the Dragon God in your free time – locals regard it to be a “power spot”.


After the race, we hope you’ll try traditional Japanese foods such as “Itoko-ni” (vegetables boiled in miso), “Tama-konnyaku” (ball-shaped konjac), and “Goma-dofu” (sesame tofu), all which are handmade with love by the local community. There will also be seasonal fruits such as fresh and juicy pears and Shonai persimmons. And to top it off, we’ll also have local favorites including a special “Marathon Tsukemono” (pickled vegetables) and “onigiri” (rice balls) made with the one and only Tsuyahime’s new crop. There will be all kinds of heart-filled local foods to choose from!


See you in Shonai, 


Taketoshi Abe