translated and edited by Brett Larner
On October 29 the organizing committee of the Tokyo Marathon announced that world record holder Haile Gebrselassie (37, Ethiopia) has committed to running the 2011 Tokyo Marathon in late February. Gebrselassie set the current men's marathon world record of 2:03:59 at the 2008 Berlin Marathon. Tokyo will be his second marathon in Japan, having won the 2006 Fukuoka International Marathon.
335,000 people applied for the 35,000 spots in the 2011 Tokyo Marathon. Committee executive Tadaaki Hayano commented, "We hope everybody in the race feels the energy of the greatest running in the world."
The 2011 Tokyo Marathon will be one of the selection races for the Japanese men's marathon team at the 2011 World Championships, meaning many of the country's best runners will also be lining up. Last year's race featured a first-place prize of 8,000,000 yen [$100,000 USD at current exchange rates] and a world-record bonus of 30,000,000 yen [$375,000 USD]. Although the Tokyo Marathon has had poor luck with weather in its four editions to date, the course record of 2:07:23 marks it as an outstanding high-speed course. Should the course record fall the winner will receive a bonus of 3,000,000 yen [$37,500 USD].
Update: Read the official press release here.