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ALL ABOUT RUNNING THE ABBOTT WORLD MARATHON MAJORS

I love the excitement and anticipation a new challenge provokes. I love to set goals that seem difficult but are in fact achievable with work over time. In my early running days, I was happy completing two marathons a year while doing my best to train consistently during the frigid Canadian winter months. But then I discovered the Abbott World Marathon Majors.


The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world: Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York. Alongside results from the IAAF World Championships and the Olympic Games, the AWMMs count towards a US$800,000 jackpot which is shared among the top three male and female finishers in both the open and wheelchair series. The champions of each AWMM Series will be the male and female athlete who scores the greatest number of points from the Qualifying Races during the one-year scoring period.


The World Marathon Majors Series started in 2006 at the 110th running of the Boston Marathon. It consisted of five races. In 2013, Tokyo joined the WMMs as the sixth race. in 2015, Abbott Laboratories became the official sponsor. The next series (Series XIII) will begin at the 2019 Chicago Marathon and end at the 2020 Chicago Marathon.


Even though I consider myself a good runner, I'm not anywhere near being good enough to compete for the championship. So why was I so interested? Because the AWMMs offer another goal, one that anyone--elite runner or not--can achieve: becoming a "Six-Star Finisher".


Each of the six races that make up the Abbott World Marathon Majors has a mass participatory field that completes the same course on the same day as the elites. "Six-star finishers" are simply marathoners who have completed all six races, from 2006 onwards, within the respective race’s time limit. Once they complete the final race, runners receive an official finisher’s medal and a certificate. So far, more than 6,000 runners across the globe have achieved this.


When it comes to the AWMMs, runners have two ways of securing a guaranteed entry for all of the Marathon Majors: they can buy an entry through a travel operator, or they can fundraise for one of the official charity partners. Both of these options offer limited spaces and they can also be costly. But each race also gives runners the opportunity to gain an entry by meeting qualifying standards in a certified race. This is often the cheapest option. However, some of the times required to qualify are stringent and races like Tokyo and London offer very limited spots for international runners. But the option is there.


So, after running the Chicago Marathon in 2016, I set myself a goal: become a six-star finisher and do so by meeting the qualifying times for every race. At that point I had three more races to run. I'm happy to say that I completed my sixth race in April 2019 at the London Marathon. It took me eight years in total to complete them all.


During these years I've witnessed the increase in popularity of these races. I've also seen how the entry process for each of the Majors has become harder as the number of applications continues to exceed the number of spots available. Each AWMM has its own registration process and the increase in demand has prompted changes in the application process of several of the races, including faster qualifying times. This is why I thought it would be helpful to put all the information concerning the AWMMs in one place. Hopefully, it will assist enthusiastic runners like me who also want to become Six-Star Finishers...


Note: Information listed in this post was updated in September 2019. It represents 2019 or 2020 races, depending on what is available from official sources. I did my best to verify everything shared here. However, if you are planning to apply for any of these races please go directly to the race website in order to get the most up-to-date information. Race information is presented in the order in which I myself completed them: 1) Boston, 2) NYC, 3) Chicago, 4) Berlin, 5) Tokyo, 6) London.


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1) BOSTON MARATHON

Next races: April 20, 2020 / April 19, 2021 (Patriot's Day).

Official Website


RUNNING THE BOSTON MARATHON

The Boston Marathon is the most legendary of marathons and it's on the bucket list of many runners. I got my first qualifier time in 2009, after running my third marathon. For me, it was a huge accomplishment. I ran my first Boston Marathon in 2011 and I went back every spring for the following six years. Why? Because Boston is a unique race: the weather is unpredictable, the course is challenging, there always seemed to be a group of running friends going along, and the event is embraced by the entire city. Boston welcomes its runners and makes us feel like rock stars. Happily, I've also had the chance to share the magic with my husband and children, too.


GENERAL INFO

The inaugural Boston Marathon was in 1897, which makes it the world's oldest annual marathon. It's held on the same day every year: the US holiday called Patriot's Day (sometimes it is referred to as Marathon Monday). The original point-to-point course has changed its start and finish line through the years, but most of the course remains as it was originally designed. Since 1924 the race has begun in the town of Hopkinton and finished in Boston on the historic Boylston Street.

The race itself is considered by many runners to be the most challenging of the six AWMMs. And this is the only one where meeting a qualifying time in a certified race (corresponding to gender and age) is the main way to enter. In 2019, more than 80% of the runners met the qualifying time.


2019, BY THE NUMBERS

Finishers: 26,737

Countries represented: 118

Spectators: around 1 million (Boston has a population of around 670,000 people)

Volunteers: approx. 9700


A FEW MORE FACTS

- The Wellesley's Scream Tunnel is probably one of the most famous sections of the route. Runners can hear the students yelling way before they can see them and their popular "Kiss Me" signs. The tradition has been part of the Boston Marathon for years and the sign-making is now an organized event. Runners can even request custom signs via their social media accounts.

- In the final miles of the marathon, runners pass the iconic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox and oldest of all Major League Baseball parks. A game is always scheduled early on Marathon Monday. Once the game is over, the crowds move to the roads to cheer runners on during the final stretch of the course.


THE COURSE

Visual Overview / Video Guide


The Boston Marathon is a point to point course that passes through eight cities and towns, starting in Hopkinton and ending on Boylston Street in Boston.

Most of the first half is downhill, with few climbs. Just before the halfway point runners will meet the women of Wellesley College and their famous Scream Tunnel before heading to a series of rolling hills at Newton that culminates with the infamous Heartbreak Hill. Runners then get cheered by Boston College students. After that it is mostly downhill (which feels quite hard on the quads!). The last portion of the course turns right onto Hereford Street and then left onto Boylston Street. From here runners can see the finish line near Copley Square.


The weather in Boston during the month of April is quite unpredictable. It can be anything from extreme heat to freezing rain. In 2012, the temperature reached 75 degrees by the start of the Women’s Elite field at 09:30 am, and 89 degrees in Framingham (the 10km mark) by midday. Hundreds of runners had to be treated for heat-related issues along the course. Many others were treated in local hospitals after the race. Contrast this with 2015, where we had a wet and cold day with rain, strong winds, and temperatures in the mid-40s.


- Start time: Runners are distributed in four waves, with the first starting at 10:00 am and the last starting at 11:15 am.

- Cut off time: Athletes have six hours from when the last starter crosses the start line to complete the course.


Course Records:

- Men: 2:03:02, Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) 2011.

- Women: 2:19:59, Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia) 2014.


APPLYING

The entry fee for US residents is US$205. For non-US residents it is US$255. There are four ways to enter the event:


1) Run a qualifying time.

The number of applications for the Boston Marathon has increased significantly in recent years, so achieving a qualifying standard does not guarantee entry into the race. If the total amount of submissions surpasses the field size for qualified athletes then those who are the fastest among the pool of applicants in their age and gender group will be accepted. Additionally, the increased interest in participation and the field size limit has forced organizers to modify qualifier standards: for the 2013 Boston Marathon, and in 2018, the BAA announced a five-minute increase per gender and age group for the 2020 race. Currently, to qualify:

- Runners have to achieve their time on a USATF, AIMS, or equivalent foreign certified courses.

- Qualification window: for the 2021 Boston Marathon runners must meet their qualifying times on or after September 14, 2019

- Qualifying times are based upon each athlete's age on the date of the Boston Marathon.

- Current registration occurs on a “rolling admission” schedule beginning with the fastest qualifiers in their gender and age group to register first.

- Registration for the 2020 Boston Marathon opened on September 9, 2019 and closed on September 18.

- Current qualifying standards are (based on net time, also known as chip time):



2) Participate in the Official Charity Program.

- Each runner has to contact the non-profit organization of interest directly and is required to raise a minimum of USD$5,000.


Runners raised a total of USD$36.6 million for 260 non-profit organizations at the 2018 event, and USD$38.7 million for 297 charities in 2019.


3) Register via a tour operator.

- Purchase one of the limited number of guaranteed entries from one of the authorized tour operators.

- Tour operators must be contacted directly.


4) Be a legacy runner.

- Those who have run ten or more consecutive Boston Marathons receive a non-complementary invitation to register as soon as the registration process begins.


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2) NEW YORK CITY MARATHON

Next races: November 3, 2019 / November 1, 2020.

Official Website


RUNNING THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON

Alongside the Boston Marathon, this is the race I had wanted to complete since my early days as a runner. Living close to Toronto meant that a trip to NYC or Boston was only a short flight or a day's drive away, both of which can be done on a budget.


New York is one of the most vibrant cities I have ever visited. One of the privileges we have as marathoners is to run the streets of this busy and usually congested city in the absence of vehicles. By completing the NYC marathon at the end of 2011, I crossed two AWMMs off my bucket list. After that, I switched my focus to improving my times and running races closer to home.


GENERAL INFORMATION

The NYC Marathon is the largest of the six AWMMs and it is also the largest marathon in the world. The race began in 1970 with just 127 entrants running several loops around Central Park. In 1976, the course expanded to include all five boroughs of New York City. It starts on Staten Island and finishes in Manhattan’s iconic Central Park. Record numbers of lottery applications in past years and strict qualifying times make getting into this race difficult.


2018, BY THE NUMBERS

Finishers: 52,813

Countries represented: 129

Spectators: over 1 million

Volunteers: 12,000


A FEW MORE FACTS

- Approximately 3.01 miles of the TCS New York City Marathon -11.5% of the course- is run on bridges.

- 1,229,360 runners have crossed the finish line to date (up to 2018).

- For 40 years, Brooklyn’s Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School band has played the “Rocky” theme song for hours at mile 8.


THE COURSE

Visual Overview / Video Guide


This is a point-to-point race in one of the most diverse cities in the world. It is also one of the most difficult AWMM courses. It runs through all five of New York City's boroughs, each of which is filled with cheering crowds. It starts on Staten Island to the sound of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York". From there, runners head uphill to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in North America. After the bridge, runners enter Brooklyn, where the course is relatively flat. In Queens comes another bridge--the Queensboro. In contrast to the rest of the race, it is quiet as there are no spectators lining it. Coming off Queensboro Bridge runners meet First Avenue. Wide, flat and filled with thousands upon thousands of spectators, it is probably the loudest section of the race. Bronx is up next, with its narrower streets, and then it's Manhattan again, where runners have to climb a few more hills before reaching Central Park. Runners will cross the finish line in one of the world's most famous park, but not before they pass through a sea of flags that represents all countries involved in the race.


- Start time: Runners are distributed in four waves, with the first starting at 9:40 am and the last one at 11:00 am.

- Cut off time: Sweep buses will follow the marathon route at a 6 1/2-hour marathon pace (roughly 15 minutes per mile) after the final wave starts. Runners still on the course at this point should move onto the sidewalks. The official end time of the race is 7:25 p.m.


Course Records:

- Men: 2:05:06, Geoffrey Mutai, (Kenya) 2011.

- Women: 2:22:31, Margaret Okayo, (Kenya), 2003.


APPLYING

The entry fee for U.S. Residents is USD$255 for New York Road Runner members and USD$295 for non-NYRR members. For non-U.S. Residents it is USD$358. There are eight ways to enter the event.


1) Via non-guaranteed drawing, or ballot:

For the 2019 event:

- Out of the 117,709 applicants who registered for entry, 10,510 were accepted (9%).

- The pool of runners accepted through the lottery process was made up of 29% NYC-Metro, 42% national and 29% international applicants.

- Application period: January 14 to February 14, 2019. The drawing took place on February 27.


2) Run a qualifying time:

For the 2020 race, qualifying time entries will be split between:

a) Those who run a New York Road Runner race (NYRR) held in 2019 (2019 Fred Lebow Half-Marathon, 2019 United Airlines NYC Half, 2019 SHAPE Women's Half-Marathon, 2019 Popular Brooklyn Half, 2019 NYRR Staten Island Half, 2019 TCS New York City Marathon).

b) A limited number of spots will be assigned to non-NYRR races. Verification will be completed prior to the 2020 entry drawing.


Regarding qualifying times:

- The NYC Marathon is the only Marathon Major that accepts both marathon and half marathon times as qualifiers.

- Qualifying times are based upon each athlete's age on the date of the TCS New York City Marathon.

- Qualifying window: for the 2020 event, runners must meet their qualifying times between January 1 and December 31, 2019.

- Applications for the 2019 event opened on January 14 and closed on February 14. Application dates for the 2020 race have not been announced yet.

- Required qualifying times are as follows:



3) Participate in the Official Charity Program.

- Runners can obtain an entry by raising money on behalf of one of the hundreds of not-for-profit organizations in New York City and across the US.

- Required amounts raised varies from organization to organization.


A total of USD$45 million was raised by 10,000 runners in 2018.


4) Register via a tour operator.

- International runners may purchase a Marathon Travel Package from any of the official International Tour Operators. This includes an entry into the race and a hotel stay in the New York City area. Some also include flights.


5) Complete 15+ NYC Marathons.

- Runners who finish their 15th New York City Marathon will be eligible for guaranteed entry in future years.


6) Claim a deferred entry from a previous year.

- Entrants who officially canceled their entry according to the cancellation guidelines are eligible for guaranteed non-complimentary entry the following year.

- Entrants who cancel their entry in consecutive years are not eligible for guaranteed entry after the second consecutive cancellation.


7) Enter through the NYRR Virtual Racing program.

Joining the NYRR Virtual Racing program gives runners the opportunity to gain non-complimentary entry to the TCS New York City Marathon. To gain access to the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon runners must:

- Complete the full 26.2-mile distance in a single run activity and upload it to Strava no later than three days after the virtual race ends.

- The time limit for the run is 6 hours and 30 minutes.

- The 2020 Virtual Race can be completed between October 31 and November 3, 2019.

- Manual entries, treadmill runs and runs marked 'Private' are not accepted.

- Entry fees: USD$125 for NYRR members, USD$150 for non-members.

- Number of spots (first come, first serve): 500.

- There are also 200 spots for those who register after signing up for the “NYRR Team for Kids” and fundraise a minimum of USD$500.

- After winning a spot though Virtual Racing runners must apply for a guaranteed entry within the application period.


8) Participate in NYRR’s 9+1.

Requirements for the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon:

- Have an active NYRR membership by December 31, 2019.

- Complete nine or more scored qualifying races by December 31, 2019.

- Volunteer at one NYRR event by December 31, 2019.

- Once requirements are met, runners still need to apply for a guaranteed entry.


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3) CHICAGO MARATHON

Next race: October 13, 2019.

Official Website


RUNNING THE CHICAGO MARATHON

Another race relatively close to home. In the past, qualifying times for this race were not age-graded: men had to run a sub-3:15 verifiable race and women a sub-3:45 to get a guaranteed entry. In September 2016, I drove to Chicago with my son. We met up with my elder brother and uncle who were also running the race.


Chicago is a flat, fast course and in 2016 weather conditions were ideal. I finished in 3:18 and I soon realized that this time would allow me to qualify for the Berlin Marathon. Berlin qualifying times are broken down into only three age groups (as well as gender): women aged 18 to 44 need to run a sub-3:00, women aged 45 to 59 a sub-3:20, and those aged 60 and up a sub-4:10. I was 46 years of age, old enough to belong to the second group.


As a runner it is hard to predict when I will start to slow down. So, with "now or maybe never…” in mind, I decided to apply for the Berlin Marathon. And that was also the moment when I set the goal to complete all the Marathon Majors.


GENERAL INFO

Chicago is the second largest race of the series. It is also one of the favorite races for amateurs seeking fast times and personal bests, and for elite runners aiming at national and world records. This is because the course has less than thirty feet of difference between minimum and maximum elevation. The first race was held on September 25, 1977 under the original name, the Mayor Daley Marathon. Along with the Berlin Marathon, the Chicago Marathon is one of the only two AWMMs to start and finish at the same place (in Grant Park, central Chicago).


2018, BY THE NUMBERS

Finishers: 44,610

Countries represented: over 100

Spectators: approx. 1.7 million

Volunteers: 12,000


A FEW MORE FACTS

- The Chicago Marathon is the only AWMM that allows runners younger than 18. Participants under 18 years of age must have permission to participate from their parent or legal guardian. This permission is given and verified during the application process.

- Post-race celebrations take place at Grand Park, where family and friends meet their runners. Grand Park is home to the Art Institute of Chicago and it also houses Millennium Park.


THE COURSE

Visual Overview / Video Guide


The Chicago Marathon is a flat loop that starts and ends at the famous Grant Park by Lake Michigan. The course offers a scenic tour of Chicago: runners pass through twenty-nine diverse neighborhoods and run over five different bridges while supported by hundreds of thousands of spectators.


- Start time: Runners are distributed in 3 waves, with the first starting at 7:30 am and the last one at 8:35 am.

- Cut off time: Participants are required to complete the 26.2-mile distance in less than 6:30:59. The marathon course will reopen for public use on a rolling schedule based on this time limit.


Course Records:

- Men: 2:03:45, Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) 2013.

- Women: 2:17:18, Paula Radcliffe, Great Britain, 2002.


APPLYING

The entry fee for US residents is USD$205. For non-residents it is USD$230. There are seven ways to enter the event:


1) Via non-guaranteed drawing, or ballot.

- In 2018 around 69% of the runners participating in the race gained entry through the ballot process.

- For the 2019 race, the application process opened on October 30. It closed on November 29, 2018.

- Runners were notified of their selection status on December 11, 2018.


2) Run a qualifying time.

- To qualify runners must run a race on a course certified by USA Track and Field or a similar governing association (like the IAAF).

- The qualification window for the 2019 race was anytime after January 1, 2017.

- Guaranteed entry registration window: October 23 to November 29, 2018.

For the 2019 event the qualifying standards were:



3) Participate in the Official Charity Program.

- Runners must choose an official charity.

- Runners are required to raise a minimum of US$1,250 if the entry is claimed during the drawing application window and US$1,750 if the entry is claimed after the application window.


In 2018, over 11,000 charity runners participated in the Chicago Marathon on behalf of more than 170 local, national and global causes. Together they raised USD$22.7 million.


4) Register via a tour operator.

- The Bank of America Chicago Marathon works with international tour groups from over 43 countries that offer travel, accommodation and race entry packages for international participants.


5) Be a legacy runner.

- Finishers who have completed the Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years can apply for a guaranteed entry.


6) Qualify for the American Development Program.

This is different than regular qualifying entries because the program includes: use of a separate and secure start/finish area tent, private toilet facilities, private gear check, access to the American Development Start Corral fifteen minutes prior to the official race start, and an opportunity to start directly behind the Elite Corral. Further:

- This program recognizes the fastest amateur athletes.

- To apply runners must run a race on a certified course, or on one certified by USA Track & Field (USATF) or a similar governing association.

- The qualifying window for the 2019 race opened on January 1, 2017 and closed September 1, 2019.

- The program is limited to 300 participants, and it is open to both US and non-US residents who meet the following qualifying standards:



7) Via deferred entry.

- Runners who canceled their previous year's entry can re-apply. This option is not available for those who received an entry after deferring their entry the previous year, or those who have a charity or tour group entry.


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4) BERLIN MARATHON

Next race: September 27, 2020.

Official Website



RUNNING THE BERLIN MARATHON

This is the first marathon I ran on my own. My friends and family were not there. In the run-up to the race I felt intimidated by the idea of being alone before and after such a big event, but it turned out to be a life-changing experience. Berlin is a magnificent city. There is so much to see, do and learn.


For many runners, this is the best and fastest course of all the AWMMs. Personally, I managed an almost perfect, even-paced race and benefited from the amazing support of the crowds and the volunteers. Passing through Brandenburg Gate and running the last hundreds of meters to the finish is one of the greatest memories I have. The atmosphere at the end is incredible. Runners finish in the middle of a beautiful park, with tents to change in and showers, as well as free Erdinger Alkoholfrei (non-alcoholic) beer to celebrate a great race.


GENERAL INFO

The first Berlin Marathon, held in 1974, was limited to West Berlin. After the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989 the course was redirected to encompass East Berlin and to include a pass through the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of German unification. The course was changed again in 2003: the start and finish were moved to avenue Straße des 17, allowing runners to pass the Brandenburg Gate three hundred meters before the finishing line, instead of early on in the race.


As a whole, the course is fast and flat, with wide streets and few corners. As a result, this is the AWMM where the most world records are broken. The last seven men's world records have been set on this course, including the current record set by Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya in 2018 with a time of 2:01:39.


2019, BY THE NUMBERS

Finishers: 44,065

Countries represented: 150

Volunteers: 6,000

Spectators: over 1 million


A FEW MORE FACTS

- The day prior to the marathon there is an inline skating race on the same course. 42.2 Km on wheels! All you need is a pair of inline or quad skates. In 2019, more than 5,000 skaters, pros and newbies from all over the world, took part in the event.

- Gunter Hallas, the very first Berlin Marathon winner, completed his 41st Berlin Marathon in 2018 at the age of 76.

- In September 2019, Ali Crandall from Toronto, Canada became the millionth finisher at the 46th Berlin Marathon.


THE COURSE

Visual Overview / Video Guide



The Berlin Marathon gives runners a chance to see many neighborhoods landmarks. It starts on Strasse des 17, circles around Tiergarten (a huge city park) and takes runners on a sightseeing tour around the largest city in Germany, passing the “Golden Else”, Checkpoint Charlie and crossing the River Spree. The cheering crowds, assisted by over sixty bands, provide an exciting atmosphere. The course finishes three hundred meters after the Brandenburg Gate, back in the Tiergarten.


- Start time: Runners are released in four waves, the first at 09:15 am, the last at 10:10 am.

- Cut off time: There is a time limit of 6:15 hours, measured from when the last runner crosses the start time mat.


Course Records:

- Men: 2:01:39, Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya, 2018.

- Women: 2:18:11, Gladys Cherono, Kenya, 2018.


APPLYING

The entry fee for all runners is €125. There are five ways to enter the event.


1) Via non-guaranteed drawing, or ballot.

- Registration period: October 1 to October 31, 2019.

- Results announced by email, starting November 27, 2019.

- The BMW Berlin Marathon offers entry drawings for teams of 2 to 3 persons who would like to run together.

- Runners can only enter one of the drawings and if one team member is not able to participate, the other team members are allowed to start.


2) Run a qualifying time.

- Qualifying times must be completed during an AIMS-certified marathon.

- Runners must achieve the qualified time on a certified course on or after January 1, 2018.

- Registration period: October 1 to October 31, 2019.

- The results of the verification will be announced by email, starting November 27, 2019.

- Qualifying times are as follows:



3) Participate in the Official Charity Program.

- Runners must raise an agreed amount of money for one of the official charity partners listed by the organizers.

- Each charity has its own fundraising requirements and these can be booked through the official charity partner Realbuzz.


4) Register via a tour operator.

- Official tour operators offer race spots as part of a travel package.

- This is also valid for groups that want to run together.

- Depending on availability, packages can be booked through different official tour operators until summer 2020.


5) Via the Jubilee Club

- Jubilee Club members are guaranteed an entry to the Berlin Marathon.

- This group is open to individuals who have completed the event ten times or more.

- The Berlin Marathon Jubilee Club contains more than 5000 members, as of the 2018 race.


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5) TOKYO MARATHON

Next race: March 1st, 2020.

Official Website


RUNNING THE TOKYO MARATHON

In 2016, the Tokyo marathon organizers announced the creation of a new entry program: RUN as ONE “Semi-Elite (Overseas)”. The program offered 300 entries for applicants who had met the qualifying standard but resided overseas. The qualifying time for women was under 3:30. I had completed the Berlin Marathon in a time of 3:16, so I applied for my fifth AWMM. During the summer of 2017 I received an email: I got an entry!



The Tokyo Marathon is a unique race in a magical city and I was fortunate enough to share the experience with my family. It would not be an understatement to say we enjoyed every minute of the trip.


Despite jet lag, and the fact that I had not been able to sleep for more than three hours a night since arriving on Thursday, I had the best race of my life. Alongside the other “Run as One” participants, I had the privilege of starting the race in the first wave, right behind the elite runners. The weather was ideal: it felt a bit cold at the start but it was nice and cool during the rest of the day. The race itself was exceptionally well organized, with cheering crowds keeping us entertained during the entire race. I had never seen so many people wearing costumes at a marathon! Seeing my kids and my husband three times along the course was incredible and uplifting. I felt great during the entire race and this feeling was reflected in the result: a time of 3:13, a new PB! Only one more AWMM to go!


GENERAL INFO

The Tokyo Marathon is the youngest of the AWMMs. It joined the original five races in October 2012 and remains the only AWMM race currently held in Asia. Running is a very popular sport in Japan and since the first event the number of applicants has surpassed the possible field size. The inaugural Tokyo Marathon was held on February 18th, 2007. It drew 95,044 applicants, 30,870 of which became participants. In 2019 the event's organizers received 330,271 applications for participation.


2019, BY THE NUMBERS

Finishers: 35,460

Spectators: over 1.5 million

Volunteers: approx. 12,000


A FEW MORE FACTS

- It is the AWMM with the lowest proportion of female runners (23% of total runners).

- Similar to other AWMMs, the Tokyo Marathon is working on reducing the amount of waste the race generates by implementing new initiatives. Registrant and finisher information is now paperless, marathon flags are repurposed as bags, electric cars and electric motorcycles are used in place of petrol vehicles, and the cups used at the water-aid stations are made from recycled woodchips.

- A 10km race is held on the same day with a field size of 500 runners.


THE COURSE

Visual Overview / Video Guide