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The Tokyo Marathon and Japan's Men's Olympic Team!

This time we'll look at the video, "[Fuji T.V. Official] Tokyo Marathon 2020 Live From 9:00 A.M. on Sunday, March 1, 2020!!" (【フジテレビ公式】東京マラソン2020<コース紹介>2020年3月1日(日)午前9時00分から生中継!!), which introduces the course of the Tokyo Marathon held in 2020.

The Tokyo Marathon is a competition first held in 2007. In 2013, it was designated as a World Marathon Majors competition. It is one of the 6 major marathons in the world, along with Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York.

Image of Marathon
Photo:Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is more than just an invitational sports event for invited runners and the general public; it is also an important event that serves as a qualifying event for major international sporting events, such as the Olympics and the World Athletics Championships.
In Japan, the Fukuoka International Marathon and the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon also serve as selection events to select athletes that will compete in international competitions.
However, in 2020, having been designated as a World Athletics Platinum Label Road Race, it became Asia’s highest level marathon event, and in 2019, 38,000 runners participated in the event.

The Tokyo Marathon was awarded Gold Label certification by the IAAF's rating system in 2010, making it one of the largest civic engagement races, on par with New York City.
The 2020 men's marathon was touted as a one-on-one race between Suguru Osako and Yuta Shitara. However, in the end, Suguru Osako finished 4th, making him the highest placing Japanese runner and confirming his participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The Tokyo Marathon Course

The course of the Tokyo Marathon has been drastically changed since its predecessor, the Tokyo International Marathon.
The main feature of the course is that it is a flat, high-speed course with few ups and downs, with runners running on public roads in the center of the city.
This video gives an overview of the course and we'll go over it below.

・[Video 0:23] A five meter stretch starting from the front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku with an elevation difference of 35 meters.
・[Video 0:33] A section along Sotobori-dori and Chuo-dori to reach the 10km point in Nihonbashi.
・[Video 0:40] Running through Edo-dori, runners will pass the 15km mark of Asakusa/Kaminarimon
・[Video 0:48] The 20 km mark of Monnakacho- the first turnaround point.
・[Video 0:59] The decisive moment is the 30 km mark in Ginza. At this point, the pacemaker will drop out of the race and the wheeling and the tactics begin.
・[Video 1:10] The 35 km mark at Takanawa is the last turnaround point, and the strongest runners will use their last bits of energy for bursts of speed. Every year, it's an incredibly close competition.
・[Video 1:21] The finish line of the course is in front of Tokyo station. The front runner will break through the finish line tape while being greeted by a large crowd and volunteer staff.

The Tokyo Marathon is popular among international runners because, with the exception of the starting point, it is a flat course that allows for record breaking, and also takes in the sights of Tokyo from start to finish.
For this reason, the number of applicants has been increasing every year, and for the 13th marathon, the general runners’ odds of being selected to run in the race was less than a 1 in 12 chance thus making it very difficult to enter.
There are three race categories: the Men's and Women's Marathon, the Wheelchair Marathon, and the Junior and Youth Marathon, with the wheelchair marathon starting five minutes before the other events.

Summary of the Tokyo Marathon Course

Image of Marathon
Photo:Marathon

Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation considered cancelling the 2020 marathon, but decided to hold only it with only elite athletes being considered for selection, with participation by the general public cancelled.
The 2020 Tokyo Marathon was controversial, because although an entry fee is paid prior to the race, the terms state that no refunds would be given in the event of cancellation.

Because the Tokyo Marathon is a race with traffic restrictions on public roads, there are fears that the date of the race could affect the capital's logistics infrastructure.
However, because it is a top-level marathon race even by world standards, it has a positive economic effect, and the event continues to grow yearly.
We're looking forward to Tokyo Marathons of the future!

【Official Website】Home Page|Tokyo Marathon 2020
https://www.marathon.tokyo/en/

【Tripadvisor】Tokyo Marathon
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g14133673-d8820386-r441644983-Tokyo_Marathon-Nishishinjuku_Shinjuku_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

Written By
Sep. 7, 2021
Japan
児玉 勇(Yu Kodama)
A writer who loves Japan and yakitori
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