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「東京マラソン」は、東京都庁スタートして、銀座や浅草など観光地を走る人気のマラソン大会です。
The Tokyo Marathon is a popular race that runs through tourist areas like Ginza and Asakusa and starts at the government office.

Clearly this を is not the object particle (the race isn't starting the office). I know that を can also mean 'through' like the second time it appears above. But I'm sure the race doesn't start through the office either.

So を must have another meaning I don't know, or it's a typo for で. I assume the former.

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This is a slightly exceptional (and very important) usage of 「」 employed with motion verbs that actually are intransitive verbs.

「東京都庁{とうきょうとちょう}スタートして」 = "(the marathon) starts at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and"

「銀座{ぎんざ}や浅草{あさくさ}など観光地{かんこうち}走{はし}る」 = "(it) runs through the sight-seeing spots such as Ginza and Asakusa"

Both 「スタートする」 and 「走る」 are intransitive verbs here.

  • Hmm. I guess I don't really think of 'start' as a motion verb. I'll just chalk this one up to a very exceptional usage. – user3856370 Feb 12 '17 at 8:55
  • I am talking about 「スタートする」; I am not talking about "to start" at all. Once it begins, a marathon is all about moving. If you don't really understand 「~~をスタートする」, I would have to wonder how you would「~~を走る」. Both are intransitive verbs, but they can take 「を」 ONLY because both express "motion", "movement", etc. To talk about traveling, for instance, we often use 「~~をスタートする」,「~~を出発する」, etc. Again, both are intransitive. – l'électeur Feb 12 '17 at 15:52
  • In which case, I clearly don't understand スタートする at all. I assumed it was a synonym for 'to begin' which doesn't really involve movement. Could you please enlighten me on how you understand スタートする? Thanks. For 走る I see the を as 'along' or 'through' and that normally works for me. – user3856370 Feb 12 '17 at 16:07

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