2013 Tokyo Marathon preview

The 2013 Tokyo marathon, to be run on Sun 24th Feb, will be the 7th edition of the race, and the first as a member of the prestigious World Marathon Majors. The event has the strongest field assembled yet in what is looking like being a record-breaking race. The men’s field for Sunday’s race includes defending champion, Michael Kipyego (KEN), Kipyego wins in 2012compatriot Bernard Kipyego, as well as 4 runners with sub 2:05 PB’s. Dennis Kimetto (KEN) is the pre race favourite, having run the fastest debut marathon ever (2:04:16), while James Kwambai (2:04:27), Dino Sefir (2:04:50) and Jonathon Maiyo (2:04:56) all bring strong credentials.
The Japanese contingent is also very strong with Arata Fujiwara, Kazuhiro Maeda, exciting youngster Masato Imai, Yuki Sato, Yoshinori Oda, Takayuki Matsumiya and debutant Masato Kihari.

Tokyo marathon race records set to fall

The race will attract over 35,000 runners and 2 million spectators to the streets of Tokyo. The weather is going to be chilly with 2-3degrees predicted for the start and only a predicted top of 7 degrees but that should make for some fast times. In fact the course records of 2:07:23  & 2:25:28 are both predicted to fall with very competitive fields for Sunday’s race.

The women’s field is also very strong with Ethiopian duo Bezunesh Bekele and Aberu Kebede hot favourites ahead of defending chamipion & fellow Ethiopian Atsede Habtumu, Boston marathon champion Caroline Kilel (KEN) and 40yr old German stalwart Irina Mikitenko.

IMP head to Tokyo

While not vying for the podium in this weekend’s race, the Robert deCastella led Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) team will also be racing in Tokyo. After the cancellation of the 2012 New York Marathon, the 2012 IMP team are heading to Tokyo to complete their marathon challenge. As the 4th group through the IMP training program the athletes follow in a strong tradition of inspiring Aboriginal athletes. For information on the program or to read about their past exploits in New York, or Boston check out our previous blogs from 2010, 2011 & 2012.

LINK: Indigenous Marathon Project

Of course we shouldn’t forget about the rest of the 35,000 strong field. Running is huge in Japan, it’s held in very high esteem and well supported. The Tokyo marathon is already a major sporting event in Japan and one that is sure to be very popular worldwide. Already one of the more difficult races to enter the popularity is only likely to increase. The awarding of Tokyo as the 6th World Major is a great reflection on the strong running culture in Japan. I can’t wait for an amazing race this Sunday.

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