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Tokyo Marathon – FAQ

 

We get a lot of questions regarding the Tokyo Marathon so decided to put together a list of frequently asked questions, if you have a question not answered here or on our site, please comment below or message us on our Facebook page

* Fit Japan do not offer official information and the information provided is subject to change by the Tokyo Marathon Federation. Official information can be found on the Tokyo Marathon website

When does the Tokyo Marathon registration open?

  • Charity runner registration starts in July 1st to July 31st (or until sold out)
  • General lottery traditionally opens from August 1st until August 31st

What are the Tokyo Marathon qualifying times?

  • Tokyo marathon does not have pre-requisite qualifying times in order to participate. The marathon is open to all.

How does the Tokyo Marathon Ballot work?

  • Registration traditionally opens on August 1st until August 31st with notice of success or failure being emailed mid September.

What are my chances of getting a space in Tokyo Marathon?

  • Roughly 10/1 chance. As the marathon increases in popularity more hopefuls register for the event the chances can become even lower. The organisers have also adjusted the amount of available spaces in past years so it can vary from year to year.

What is the cut off time?

  • Participants have 7 hours to complete the Marathon

 

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Fuji-San Marathon

Fuji-san Marathon is held late in late Autumn (last Sunday in November) at the base of Mt.Fuji. The race loops two lakes, Lake Kawaguchi and Saiko Lake. The start and finishing point is in the town of Fuji-Kawaguchiko, where you will find incredible hospitality and a festival atmosphere on the weekend of the event. The whole town gets involved and along the course many of the local residents will come out to cheer you on or offer you treats to keep you going along your way.

As you can expect from a Japanese event, the marathon is organised very well and despite some early congestion on the course, this isn’t a race you need suffer anxiety about. With some steep climbs and undulations on the route, this isn’t a course to try for a PB, it’s a marathon to settle into and enjoy for the unique experience that it is.

 

For locals in Japan its an easy weekend trip from Tokyo by Shinkansen, for those coming internationally I would highly recommend booking a Ryokan in the town for the weekend and enjoying the traditional Japanese experience. If you do, book early, the township has limited capacity.

 

However you get to the race, be sure you make sure you leave time to visit an Onsen to relax yourself after the Marathon. With the cold weather and aching legs post race, relaxing in the hot volcanic waters after the race is about as enjoyable an experience as you can get!

 

2016 was my second time participating in the five events they have held, the number of participants have jumped significantly with a lot of international participants travelling to join the day.

With 2016 seeing them become accredited by AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) and Japan Association of Athletics Federations, it is not hard to imagine that in the coming years this will become an iconic event of Japan that will become so popular they will need to start capping the numbers.

While not as prestigious as Tokyo Marathon, this is a race worth planning the trip to Japan to participate in.

 

 

 

For all the official information including registration information they have well written english content on their website. http://fujisan-marathon.com/en_info

 

 

 

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Tokyo Marathon 2017 – Registration Information

This article is a summary of registration options for foreigners to Japan looking to enter the Tokyo Marathon 2017.

Tokyo Marathon

**** We have a Tokyo visitors guide book available, you can download your free copy at  https://www.fitjapan.com/tokyo-marathon/

1. General Entry is open from August 1st 2016

General Entry is drawn by lottery. There are 35,500 spaces and registration exceeds 300,000 ++ entrants to the lottery. You will need to be lucky to get a space, がんばって!

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter , we will remind you when it’s time to register!

2. Charity runner registration opened from July 2nd 2016

There are 3000 spaces reserved for charity runners and given out on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. If you absolutely certainly MUST run the Tokyo Marathon and don’t want to risk missing it, this is a great option and proceeds going to some great causes that you can select at the time of application.  You may raise the donations or simply donate yourself to the value of ¥100,000 (roughly $1000 USD).

More information about the types of charities and the charity registration page are found on the official Tokyo Marathon website here.

3. Overseas Booking Agencies – To be Announced in August

Many fitness focused ‘travelling agencies’ secure spaces and provide additional services (Airport transfers, Race Day transfers, Accommodation and excursions from Tokyo etc) for foreigners travelling to Japan at the agency specified cost. You may prefer this for some additional support for your trip to Tokyo. Two that I have personally used in the past are Travelling Fit (Australia) and Athletes Journey (Singapore). The complete list of agencies will be provided on the official Tokyo Marathon website.

4. RUN as ONE – TOKYO MARATHON 2017 from August 7th 2016

The “RUN as ONE – TOKYO MARATHON 2017” program is for any overseas runners from Japan who meet the semi-elite qualifying criteria and can apply through the page found at  http://www.marathon.tokyo/en/runner/run-as-one/


 

These are the primary options for gaining entry to Tokyo Marathon for foreigners, there is also the wheelchair marathon. If you are interested to learn more about this any other information be sure to head over to official Tokyo Marathon english website http://www.marathon.tokyo/en/

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Tokyo Marathon – Race Day Preparations

Tokyo Marathon 2016 is almost upon us and here at Fit Japan we have been busy preparing a guide book aimed to help first time runners of the Tokyo Marathon to plan and prepare for their Tokyo Marathon adventure. The blog post that follows is an extract of tips regarding food, hydration and clothing for the day.

Hydration

The hydration stations are well equipped; clean water is used and stations are frequently, and evenly, spaced throughout the course. You should note the restrictions regarding your own hydration, which can be confusing – I suggest just relying on the very well-equipped hydration stations.

Food

So far, as official stands go, there are plenty of food sources; you can expect bananas, buns, plums, and even tomatoes to be supplied along the race.

The crowd very often brings plenty of goodies to the sidelines and offers them freely to runners as they cheer you along (fighto!!!). Some have chocolates, some have plums, some have miso soup… Don’t be shy and be sure to say arigatou!

Of course, pack your favorite brand of fuel, but just be careful about travel restrictions on fluids.

Clothing

Poncho

Whatever you are wearing for the race itself, it is highly recommended that you pack a poncho for the start line as wind, rain or light snow is likely.

Throw Away Cottons

On top of that, some old warm clothing that you don’t mind disposing of will go a long way. You can quickly whip these extra layers off a few minutes before the gun fires and carefully toss them over the sidelines or hold onto them and drop them into a trash bag along the side of the course.

Of course, you can be a penguin, and huddle in the crowd and try to keep warm by jumping around, but trust us on this, you are much better off packing a pair of warm sweatpants and a cotton jumper to wear while waiting at the start line. When the cold wind rushes through the crowd, you will be thankful.

Gloves

I strongly recommend gloves for the entire race.

Beanie / Buff / Ear Warmers

This one is optional but something to keep your ears and head warm, especially at the start of the race, is worthwhile. Depending on the conditions of the day, you probably can wear this item for the whole race. Again, something you don’t mind tossing away is smarter if you don’t want to end up carrying it the entirety of the race.

Glasses

Transition sunglasses, they help with keeping rain and wind out of your eyes and the sun when it does shine can be quite bright.

Long Pants

If you don’t tolerate the cold well, consider compression pants for your legs and a long sleeve shirt or even two layers for your top.

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The Osaka Marathon

 

I write this post while bound for Tokyo sitting aboard the effortlessly swift ‘Nozomi Super Express’ Shinkansen at 320 kilometers per hour; I’m returning home from a magnificent weekend in Osaka after participating in the Osaka Marathon.

Fortunately for me I gained a lottery placement into the event which took place this weekend on Sunday Oct 25th, 2015, this year celebrating it’s 5th event.  With 30,000 slots this and with over 130,000 hopefuls these numbers are yet another indication of the depth of running culture in Japan. Not as oversubscribed as the Tokyo Marathon, but still a particularly strong interest for a Marathon ran in Japan’s second largest city.

Precisely organised, polite / well-prepared participants, fantastic crowd support and abundantly equipped aid stations. I have observed these elements to be a true hallmark for Japanese events. Osaka Marathon was by no means an exception. Of course I should also mention the entertainment. Japanese cheer squads, native drummers, Hawaiian dancers and quirky costumes both in the race and the crowd that provide a uniquely Japanese edge to the day.

The theme for the year was ‘making a rainbow together’ with a variety of colors you could select at registration, each of which has a unique charity donation (part of registration fee) associated with it. You also had the option to purchase a t-shirt or hat to run the event in and represent your color. As you can see from the photo’s they certainly achieved that goal as the field of runners were bright and vibrant!

The Osaka Marathon course provides runners with an excellent perspective of Osaka city. Starting at Osaka Castle in the cool morning sun, the course coils its way through the heart of Osaka city and in the last 10km or so the route unwinds into wider spaces out into the harbor area of Osaka to the Inpex convention center for the finishing line.

I wasn’t out to make a personal record so I really just focused on relaxing and enjoy the race, which Osaka certainly made easy for me! The bonus with not my pushing hard in the run is it allowed me to snap a number of photos along the way which I share with you here.

Okonomiyaki! Osaka Marathon Route

For post marathon entertainment Osaka has plenty to offer with Karaoke, fine dining or Izakaya, bars and café’s, but as there was an Octoberfest event happening it seemed only natural I’d go to enjoy a beer and bratwurst followed by dinner with a locally famous dish of Okonomiyaki!

I stayed at the Mitsui Garden Premier Osaka  which I highly recommend. While not right in the center of Osaka downtown, the hotel offers a Onsen bathing on the top floor which is exactly why I booked the hotel. A hot Onsen post race does wonders for muscle recovery.

 

Next year the Osaka Marathon is schedule for the 30th of October 2016, why not try your luck to get a spot in the lottery yourself? Ganbatte!

 

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Tokyo Marathon. Registration Opens!

Tokyo Marathon. Registration Opens!

The buzz in the city surrounding the Tokyo marathon epitomises to me the the depth of the running culture of Japan. The marathon is televised live and nationwide on Japan’s national public TV network (NHK) and as you explore the city ahead of your race participation you will be hard pressed to find a resident of Tokyo who isn’t aware and excited about the event.

Spectators turn out in the thousands and are frequently numbers deep as they energetically cheer you along.

 

I personally have completed the Tokyo marathon for the past 4 years in a row and plan to do so for at least the next 6 years. In coming posts I will be writing more about the Marathon and why it’s the the one marathon I plan to return to for a decade.

If you are going to run the Tokyo Marathon, or visiting Japan and need help to find your way around the health and fitness scene, don’t hesitate to Contact Me with any questions.

Don’t delay register for for a space in the 2016 Tokyo Marathon lottery now! Ganbatte!

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Held annually in Tokyo, the Tokyo marathon has been officially titled as one of the ‘Marathon Majors’, positioning itself among the ranks of Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York and London marathons.

From today Saturday, August 1, 2015, 10:00 a.m. (JST) until Monday, August 31, 2015, 5:00 p.m. (JST) it is open for registrations.

Competitors have a 6 hour 40 minute window to complete the 42.2 km marathon course which routes through the heart of Tokyo starting in Shinjuku and finishing in Ariake Bay providing participants a unique marathon experience throughout the vibrant Tokyo city streets.
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