The next event will be: February 26th, 2017.
Approximate cost is: $90-110
Registration by lottery (yes/no): Yes
Maximum allowable race time is: 7 hrs
Summary: Held in late February, the Tokyo Marathon is one of only 6 World Marathon Major events (along with New York, Boston, Chicago, London, and Berlin). The event now annually receives over 300,000 applications for entry. From those, approximately 35,000 entrants are chosen by lottery.
“I was impressed with how the race was organized. I wrote about how the runners were segregated into 11 groups, overseas runners being in group K which I suppose was done for English translation purposes. The race booklet recommended different subway stations for the different categories – for example, runners belonging to blocks A, B, and C were recommended to take Shinjuku West Exit and those belonging to D and E are recommended to take the Shinjuku South exit – probably to avoid congestion.”
“…we ascended large escalators to what seemed like 3-4 stories up, where runners were to pick up their “race numbers” (not referred to as bibs).
In that first area, only runners could enter, so my parents and hubs waited outside of the gate, and I stopped over at Runner Relations since I had not received my waiver information in the mail (since we had moved since I got in the race). It was a very smooth process, and though I did understand the Japanese instructions, the volunteers also spoke English, which made it even easier.
After I had my paperwork, I stopped into my number pick up, and had my number and tee-shirt in no time…but…this is where it got confusing! I was ushered forward, and directly into the expo! And since I didn’t have a cellphone with me, I couldn’t let the rest of my party know what was going on (in hindsight, I should have had them advance to the next entry gate, where I could have met up with them and proceeded into the expo together).”
“The electrolyte beverage they had was Pocari Sweat which I actually liked better than Gatorade or the stuff they have in races in the US.”
“From about mile 15 -22 I ran near a guy who would yell something out in Japanese every now and then. I had no idea what he was saying but found it somewhat motivating.”
“I started to look for flight and hotel packages in Tokyo. While looking for flight and hotel packages, I studied the Tokyo Metro System and the Tokyo Marathon race course and figured out a hotel that wasn’t too far from either the start or finish line. … The race start and finish are in two different extremes. I found it easy to get to the start line from Shinagawa-Seaside and fairly easy to get back to the hotel room after the race. Not too much traveling, your legs will thank you. Also the hotel rooms in Shinagawa weren’t as expensive as Shibuya or Shinjuku were the start line is.”
“One thing I wish I knew was that they “time you” by gun-time not chip-time. So once your corral gun goes off, make your way to the start line quickly if you’re not close to the front already. I was a bit in the back so it took a bit to get to the start, maybe 20 mins. I should’ve rushed.”
“Finger food like sweets, breads, cakes together with bananas were served at various distance markers. One thing was that there was volunteers to peel and cut every single banana so that we didn’t have to slow down our pace to do it. No need for any littering of skins on the floor as well.”
(Several good tips about logistics, phone and internet service, navigating town, food, etc.)
“Entrants will be decided by a lottery system due to the popularity of this race, and the odds is about 1:30. However, from my own experience and according to other international runners’ input, we (foreigners reside outside of Japan) seem to be picked by default. It’s free to enter the lottery, unlike New York or other big races, and you only pay when you are accepted and complete your registration.”
“Looking at runners from all over the world staying at the same hotel where I stayed, they seemed puzzled looking at restaurants’ menu. Even the hotel gave us 20-30% off the price, it could cost us over $100 for a dinner per person. I just wanted to eat something that I normally eat – quick! We headed down to the train station by the hotel and there was a cozy restaurant. We only paid $30 for three of us. That would happen to foreigners who didn’t do their homework. It was already costly trip we needed to squeeze our budget for food even though it is so hard to do as the food tasted so good there.”
“Every 2 kilometers they served water and every 5 kilometers they served Amino-Value sports drinks which tastes so good. And every 5 kilometers after 22 kilometers, they served foods such as bananas, rice balls with seaweed wraps, rolls with sweet red bean paste inside, salt candies and plum pickles.”
“At the fuel station, those who threw cups are mainly ‘foreigners’, everyone place cups into designated trash boxes after they finish drinking.”
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