Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

( 17 reviews )
94% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Tokyo,
  • February
  • 26.2 miles/Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Matt Curley

Chicago, Illinois, United States
4 5
"Tokyo Marathon"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Matt Curley's thoughts:

The Tokyo Marathon was an overall great experience, especially for a US resident’s first time visiting this city. The city has a ton to offer in the way of culture, food, wonderful people and unique experiences. It is amazingly clean as well! As for the race, I would offer the following:
I secured my entry through Marathon Tours and they were stellar with all their plans as usual. We stayed at the Hilton near the start line which was super convenient and I would highly recommend this hotel. Breakfast was great and was included as part of our Marathon Tour reservation. The expo was a bit crazy with many vendors pushing their brochures and took too long to get through. Picking up the bib and other race items was well organized though. I much prefer Boston, Chicago and some US based expos. The race start line with corals was well organized. No bagels there and race started at 9:10am, so get your breakfast/snacks on your own before you get there. I was in the B coral toward front and it took me one minute to cross the start line - not too bad. Unfortunately, it was very slow going for the first mile as tough to navigate all the people. I was actually weaving through a thick crowd all the way through the first 10k. This may be because they had a 10k race mixed in with marathon? Either way, the crowd loosened up greatly after 10k. I had a couple issues on the course: 1) they had no mile markers, only kilometers. That’s understandable but 2) My GPS didn’t work well through whole course so I had no feedback on how well I was doing. The water stops were every 2 to 3k which was fine, but plan for not being every mile. The fans and volunteers were amazing and throughout the course. I liked the course as there are a couple out and backs mixed in, allowing you to see the leaders and your friends a few times - very different. The course is fast and definitely set up for a PR. Just know your goal splits in kilometers and wear a pace band to remind you. After the finish the volunteers were again very gracious and helpful. It’s a super long walk to get out of the finish area so be ready. Marathon Tours had set up a shuttle bus to take us back to hotel which was very helpful. It is important to know that there are mostly Japanese runners in this race so not a lot is set up for Americans in terms of mile markers, reliable English runner tracking etc. That’s fine but just good to know. One major bummer for me was that my chip malfunctioned and I didn’t receive a chip time, only gun time. That’s unusual and not expected for a World Marathon Major race. Speaking of World Marathon Majors, this was my sixth and final race so I got the coveted Six Star medal at the finish line which is very cool. Overall, I had a great experience in the city and for the race despite some issues.

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