- 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
This was my first full international marathon, done a half before but never a full.
They did a good job at the Expo, they had separate lines for English speaking (which is helpful as I don't speak Japanese) and they moved quickly. The race sponsor Adidas had merchandise that was not too expensive, little disappointed that other companies did not have items with Tokyo marathon on it.
We passed on doing the "Friendship Run" 5k on saturday morning. It was not really close to our location, but when we saw pictures from friends that went it looked fun. Wished we had taken the time and done the subway ride to it.
At the race morning, you have to go thru security with metal detectors, it moved pretty quick, you then have to find your van/bag dropoff that will take your items to the finish line. You're assigned one of six gates to get in, seems like this is done to spread people out, once in it was a general area that everyone is in.
After this, I had time to spare and headed over to the bathroom lines, these lines moved really slow. Also, some were English Style, some were not, I was half way thru the slow line when I realized I was in non English style line, not an issue for me, but would of sucked for something that would need to switch after waiting in line.
The course is pretty flat, I was in Corral E, so it was kind of crowded at the beginning, but I had decided to enjoy it, so really did not try to run around people at the beginning. On several parts of the course you run out and then turn back. It was nice to see the elites and cheer for them as you saw them coming back.
The nutrition on the race is different than US based races, there is no gu or gels on the course, I did not even see any for sale at the Expo.
For nutrition, I switched between water and Pocari Sweat (their gaterade). I tried several other foods that they had on the course. The had tomatoes on the course, I ended up having 3 small ones during the course. Nice not doing all the packaged items for once.
Towards the end of the marathon, They have 3 bridges/hills at the end. They were pretty narrow, and a lot of people are walking/going slow at this point. So it was difficult to keep or pick up the pace at the end.
After crossing the finish line, they give you a finisher towel instead of space age blanket. A nice change, as something you can reuse/ show off later.They have many different options than US based races, they had acupuncture but I passed as I needed to meet up with people. They did have a group hot foot bath that I tried for a few minutes. Nice to get the feet some loving after running a marathon.
The family meet up was kind of crazy, To get into the building (to get to the meet up location) my friend needed to go thru security, which had a long line, so I went outside to meet her and we spent about 10 minutes trying to find each other.
Overall Tokyo marathon was a great experience, the crowds were a constant positive pick you up.