READY, SET, TOKYO!
Are you ready for one of the toughest marathons in the world?
A Godzilla of a Race
The first Tokyo Marathon in which the public could compete took place in 2007. While many marathons start small, this race had a huge premiere – 25,000 athletes toed the start line. In 2015, more than 35,000 runners competed in the race, which is impressive for this notoriously wet race.
In 2012, the Tokyo Marathon became the sixth event to join the World Marathon Majors. The other marathons in this organization are Boston, New York City, Chicago, Berlin and London. (That fact might come in handy if you’re ever on “Jeopardy!”)
The Chosen Few
This marathon is challenging even before the starting gun fires: That’s because more than 300,000 runners apply to participate through a lottery. It might not be as slim as winning the Powerball, but you’ll still need good fortune to be selected. You can fill out an online application in August, and keep your fingers and toes crossed until the October lottery draw.
The marathon begins at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building – one of the most-loved parts of the city and one of our favorite parts of the race. But just to warn you, we often shiver like we’re on top of Mount Fuji before the race. That’s because it takes place on a Sunday at the end of February. Tell your friends and family to bring their gloves and thermal underwear as they cheer you on.
And They’re Off!
You’ll start the race downhill, and after that; most of the Tokyo Marathon course is flat. The scenery will captivate you along the way and you’ll wish you could run with a selfie stick! The route includes lovely rivers, the Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace. The finish line is near Tokyo Big Sight, which is Japan’s largest convention center and an architectural wonder.
All in all, the Tokyo Marathon is well organized, and as a bonus, some participants wear costumes. So if you’ve ever dreamed of running beside Darth Vader or a giant chicken, this is your chance.
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