Coming Sunday 24 Feb will see the kickoff of the 7th Tokyo Marathon which will also mark the takeoff of the 2013/14 World Marathon Majors (WMM) scoring period after it has been added by WMM as the 6th event of the WMM series last November making Tokyo Marathon the latest and only Asian entry to this prestigious marathon race series founded on 23 Jan 2006 alongside Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.
The WMM are a 2-year marathon series in which top 5 finishers accumulate points at each of the 6 member races, along with the biennial IAAF World Championships and the quadrennial Olympic marathon events with the male and female series leaders each winning a jackpot prize money of USD500,000 at the end of each 2-year cycle.
“After gaining the IAAF Gold Label in 2010, with joining the WMM as a goal, I have been trying to recruit better quality elite runners,” explained race director Tadaaki Hayano. “For this year, as a new member of WMM, I aimed for an even higher qualify field.
“Of course I want the Japanese athletes to do well, but for that to happen I think it is important to hold a truly world-class marathon domestically with the opportunity to race against the best in the world,” he added.
---- excerpt from IAAF
“Tokyo is honored to join the World Marathon Majors,” said Tad Hayano, Tokyo Marathon Foundation Race Director. "As the first marathon from Asia, we will continuously make an effort to expand the brand of the WMM in Asia. Likewise, as the 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."
------ excerpt from WMM
The Tokyo marathon has been the largest marathon race in Asia, when the registrations for the 2013 edition were closed, there were 303,450 full marathon applicants queuing for the 35,500 limit capacity slots.
The successful registrants are decided by a lottery system when the applications exceed the maximum capacity.
The figures for last year’s edition were 282,824 for 35,500 in which 34,678 finished the 42.195km route from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to Tokyo Big Sight making it the 3rd largest marathon finishers in the world in 2012 after Chicago (37,437) and London (36,672).
The exceptional elite field with personal PB’s, including 4 sub 2:05 men , are:
Men [CR 2:07:23 – Viktor Rothlin (SUI) 2008]Dennis Kimetto (KEN) - 2:04:16 (debut) Berlin 2012 (2nd position) [5th fastest runner all time excluding Boston]
James Kwambi (KEN) - 2:04:27 Rotterdam 2009 (2nd position) [joint 7th fastest runner all time excluding Boston
Dino Sefir (ETH) - 2:04:50 Dubai 2012 (2nd position)
Jonathan Maiyo (KEN) - 2:04:56 Dubai 2012 (4th position)
Women [CR 2:25:28 – Atsede Habtamu (ETH) 2012]
Irina Mikitenko (GER) - 2:19:19 Berlin 2008
Bezunesh Bekele (ETH) - 2:20:30 Dubai 2012
Aberu Kebede (ETH) - 2:20:30 Berlin 2012
Caroline Kilel (KEN) - 2:22:36 Boston 2011
This event will also serve as the Japanese men's national marathon team trials for the upcoming 14th IAAF World Championships, Moscow in August.
Top domestic contenders are :
Arata Fujiwara PB 2:07:48 Tokyo 2012 [ withdrawn due to hamstrings inflammation]
Kazuhiro Maeda PB 2:08:38 Tokyo 2012
Yoshinori Oda PB 2:09:03 Tokyo 2011
Takayuki Matsumiya PB 2:09:28 Tokyo 2012
Yoshimi Ozaki PB 2:23:30 Tokyo 2008
Azusa Nojiri PB 2:24:57 Osaka 2012
Noriko Matsuoka PB 2:26:54 London 2011
Theme of the Day 24 Feb 2013 : "The Day We Unite" --- Tokyo Marathon 2013