POSTED: February 23rd 2013
Tokyo Marathon begins World Marathon Majors circuit and fans Olympic bid spirit
CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications
February 23 – The Tokyo Marathon will begin tomorrow, February 24, a new addition to the World Marathon Majors circuit. The Marathon will test Tokyo 2020 with a major event in its bid for the Summer Olympic Games.
“As the first marathon from Asia, we will continuously make an effort to expand the brand of the WMM in Asia,” Tad Hayano, Tokyo Marathon Foundation Race Director said. “Likewise, as one of the World Marathon Majors, we believe that the Tokyo Marathon can make an even more positive contribution to the world marathon scene by working with our new partners.”
Each World Marathon Majors race includes an international elite field for both men and women runners and a mass participatory field, which follows the same course as the top runners.
Founded in 2006, the World Marathon Majors was established by the Boston, Virgin London, BMW Berlin, Bank of America Chicago and ING New York City marathons. The best male and female marathoners will split a $1 million prize.
“We at World Marathon Majors are delighted to have Tokyo join our group,” Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association and Boston Marathon Tom Grilk said. “The Japanese have a magnificent history and tradition in the marathon, and the Japanese people have long embraced the marathon and distance running in general. They are among the finest fans in the world for our sport.”
More than 95,000 applicants and nearly 31,000 participants ran in the first Tokyo Marathon on February 18, 2007. Six years later, the race has grown in numbers to over 300,000 applicants and almost 36,000 participants. This year’s race will also serve as the Japanese Men’s National Team trials for the 14th IAAF World Championships Marathon in Moscow.
The full marathon and 10-kilometre starts of the Tokyo Marathon will begin on February 24 at 9:10 am, five minutes after the wheelchair start at 9:05 am. The 10-kilometre race will last for one hour and 40 minutes, while the marathon will last a maximum of seven hours.
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