Runners from around the world head to Japan, Tokyo every year for the annual Tokyo Marathon. The 2017 edition looks to be one of the largest of those marathons ever run, and runners interested in the event will have to sign up months in advance.
As a runner looking to be one of the best around, there are some important things you should know about the Tokyo Marathon 2017, including the requirements for runners and how to register.
The Tokyo Marathon 2017 is a joint effort between the Tokyo Marathon Foundation and local companies and organisations, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Nippon Television Network and Fuji Television Network. It consists of both the primary marathon and a separate 10km race that is only open to certain participants.
Though similar in duration to previous races, the 2017 race will follow a completely new course. Even if you entered before, you'll want to sign up to see this amazing new course, which begins at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and ends at Tokyo Station.
Types of Races
The primary marathon is open to adults over the age of 19. Those in wheelchairs can also sign up for the main marathon. Those in wheelchairs will start the marathon at 9:05 am on 26 February, 2017, and those not in wheelchairs will start the race five minutes later.
The organiser of the event offers a separate 10km race that is open to those under the age of 19, racers with mental and visual impairments and those who have organ transplants. The 10km race takes place on the same day but ends several hours before the main marathon does.
Requirements for Runners
All marathon runners hoping to enter the Tokyo Marathon 2017 must meet certain eligibility requirements. They must be strong enough and in good enough physical shape to complete the entire course in no more than six hours and 40 minutes.
Though those in poor physical shape can run with a partner, no runner may bring a service animal. They must also pay the entry fee prior to the start of the race and make travel arrangements to arrive in Tokyo in time for the event. Racers who do not arrive in time for check in face disqualification.
Registering for the Race
You have the entire month of August to register for the Tokyo Marathon. The applications are available online and will go live on 1 August. All runners must complete the online application and pay the registration fee by 31 August, 2016.
The entry fee for the marathon is 10,800 Yen for those living in Japan and 12,800 Yen for those living in other countries. As organisers allow no more than 35,500 runners in the field, there is a chance that they may use a lottery to determine who can participate. If a larger number of runners register, the organisers will hold a lottery to determine who can run.
For the 10km Race, the entry fee will be 5,600 Yen for Japan residents and 6,700 Yen for overseas residents with only 500 entries available.
Importance in Running Communities
The Tokyo Marathon is one of the most important events in the running community today. Two separate marathons originally took place in Tokyo, but as the city realized that it could not maintain both events, it decided to merge the two and form the Tokyo Marathon, which started in 2007.
The best time ever completed by a female runner came in 2016, which saw a Kenyan woman complete the race in just over two hours and 21 minutes. A Kenyan runner also holds the record among men. He completed the course in just under two hours and six minutes in 2014.
Why Run in the Tokyo Marathon 2017?
Running in the Tokyo Marathon 2017 lets you compete against some of the most elite athletes in the world. Those who competed in past events won major marathons around the world and set new records too.
Not only can you see how you stack up against the competition, but you can learn more about racing and even make some new friends. Check the official website of the Tokyo Marathon 2017 for more information and to sign up today.