Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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.

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