At a Tokyo-area press conference on May 31, the organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games announced the course for the men's and women's marathons. Passing many of Tokyo's prime tourist spots, the Tokyo 2020 course will not be the sort of circuit course that has become common in international championship marathons in recent years. Executive Koji Murofushi commented, "This will be the greatest Olympic course ever."
A hybrid of the historic Tokyo International Marathon course and the new Tokyo Marathon course introduced in 2018, the Tokyo 2020 course features an elevation difference of 33 m. Starting and finishing at the new Olympic Stadium, it will head down a 30 m drop hill, turning around in front of Kaminarimon in Asakusa near the 15 km point and passing through the Nihonbashi and Ginza areas before hitting another turnaround near Tokyo Tower and Zojoji atround 25 km.
After that the course will turn around again at around 33 km at Nijubashi in front of the Imperial Palace before returning back up the 30 m climb starting around 37 km. That final uphill is bound to become the critical point of the race. IAAF officials inspected the proposed course on May 23 and gave formal approval on May 25.
translated and edited by Brett Larner