Skip to main content

Both London Olympics Gold Medalists to Run 2015 Tokyo Marathon

http://response.jp/article/2014/11/26/238309.html

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The organizers of the 2015 Tokyo Marathon have announced that both London Olympics gold medalists will run next year's race, men's marathon gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) and women's marathon gold medalist Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) each signing on to run as invited athletes.  Kiprotich ran the Tokyo Marathon in 2012 to qualify for the Olympics, finishing 3rd in 2:07:50 behind winner Michael Kipyego (Kenya) and Arata Fujiwara (Japan).  Formerly based in Japan, Gelana ran the Yokohama International Women's Marathon earlier this month where she was 6th in 2:29:13.

The 2015 Tokyo Marathon is scheduled to be held Feb. 22.  As of Nov. 14, 304,825 people had entered for the 28,400 places in the general division, and with entries for the elite, sub-elite, charity runner and other divisions well over capacity across the board, preparations are progressing steadily.  114 companies are expected for the 2015 Tokyo Marathon Expo to be held Feb. 19-22, and with a Family Run and Friendship Run planned to be held and live nationwide TV and radio broadcasts starting at 9:00 a.m. there are many ways for people to enjoy race weekend apart from running in the main event itself.

An indication of the scale of the 2015 Tokyo Marathon is the number of people involved in supporting roles and at water and food stations.  1400 officials from the Tokyo Track and Field Association will be involved, along with 10,000 volunteers.  Aid stations are still be evaluated but plans call for 90,000 bananas, 40,000 chocolates and 72,000 tomatoes.

A preliminary report on initiatives for the 10th anniversary Tokyo Marathon in 2016 has also been made.  Tokyo Marathon Foundation president Koji Sakurai has been named head of the 2016 Tokyo Marathon Project committee.  Along with a proposal to expand the sub-elite component of the field in 2016, the issue of an international wheelchair race is under examination.  The 2015 edition will also feature a wheelchair race, but the aim is to receive certification from the International Paralympic Committee in 2016 in hopes of staging an international certified race.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Former Hakone Ekiden Director Yoshiyuki Aoba Named Head Coach at Nihon University

Nihon University, 18th at this year's Hakone Ekiden, has named former Daito Bunka University head coach and former Inter-University Athletic Union of Kanto (KGRR) director Yoshiyuki Aoba, 77, as its new head coach. It is almost unheard-of for someone who has risen to the top position of the KGRR, organizers of the Hakone Ekiden, to return to coaching. Previous head coach Yoshiyuki Musha, 36, has retired from coaching and will remain at Nihon University in another capacity.

With 12 Hakone Ekiden titles to its name, ranking it #3 in the event's history, and 89 Hakone appearances, the second-most in history, the change is a surprising move from the powerhouse Nihon University. The young Musha stepped down following this year's 18th-place finish, the sixth year in a row that Nihon has missed a prestigious top ten finish, leaving the door open for the 77-year-old veteran Aoba to come in.

Aoba graduated from Nihon University, becoming head coach at Daito Bunka University at just…

July's Hokuren Distance Challenge Series May Go Ahead On Limited Scale

Following the nationwide lifting of the state of emergency earlier this week, Hokkaido's Hokuren Distance Challenge may be held on its planned dates from July 4th to 18th on a reduced scale. According to a source involved with the series, based on the advice of experts the 10000 m will be cut, with only events of 5000 m and shorter held in order to reduce the size of the series' meets and keep them in line with government social distancing guidelines. The JAAF earlier requested that meets and races refrain from going ahead through the end of June, but if the Hokuren series happens it will likely signal a restart of the track and field season.

The number of people allowed to participate in the series will likely be limited, with priority given to upper-tier athletes. Many issues such as accommodations and the number of race and athlete support personnel permitted on-site have yet to be worked out. One of the organizers commented, "The series will bring in a lot of people …

Ageo City Half Marathon Leads Weekend Action - Preview

by Brett Larner

Rainy weather lies ahead for a busy weekend of racing across the country.  Track is a part of the calender from April through December, and this weekend features several large time trial meets including the Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials Meet and, closer to Tokyo, the Nittai University Time Trials Meet.  Men's 5000 m is the focus at Nittai with 37 separate heats in one day, the fastest heat led by 12 Japan-based Africans including Bedan Karoki (DeNA RC), Ronald Kwemoi (Team Komori Corp.) and Paul Kuira (Team Konica Minolta).

The main action this weekend, however, happens on the roads, and there's no question that the Ageo City Half Marathon is the main event.  Ageo, the race that university coaches use to thin their rosters ahead of deciding their lineups for January's Hakone Ekiden, is one of two Japanese half marathons vying for the title of world's greatest half, locked in a duel with March's National University Half Marathon to produce the d…