Woo hoo! Very excited to get the chance to run in the inaugural event of what should eventually become one of the great marathons of the international calendar. Apparently there were 95,000 aplications for the 25,000 openings. Do you think there was any latent demand for a public marathon in Tokyo?
It is going to be awesome!
Many of my Namban team mates also got entry. Commiserations to the minority who missed out (backroom dealings already launched!)
Any comments on the course? I'm not all that happy about such a big net downhill in the profile, and it is a shame the start and finish are in totally different locations. I wonder if these two facts affect its ability to be eligible for official IAAF records? If it is eligible, and if it attracts the super elites, I think you will see some very fast times, probably some new world records, on this course. It has a big downhill early, then flat, and the weather should be a perfect cool and dry.
Regarding eligibility, a bit of scratching around with Google reveals this:
The major elements of the guidelines cover net drop in elevation and potential wind assistance on point-to-point courses. Drop is limited to an average of one metre a kilometre, while the start and finish cannot be separated by more than half the race distance.The Tokyo course looks to have a net drop of about 34 m, so it passes on that count, despite the fact that there is a 40 m drop in the first 5 km!
Thus, the finish cannot be more than 42.195 metres lower than the start, nor further than 21.0975 kilometres away.
The distance from the start to the finish looks a bit tight at first, but if they mean in a straight line then it qualifies comfortably at only a bit under 12 km .
So there you go, you read it here first that marathon world records are likely to be broken in Tokyo next February 18. In the open divisions, Paula's is probably safe, but sub-2:04 for men is inevitable at some point--so why not here? And if not in the open divisions, then maybe in some of the age divisions because of the depth of running in Japan. You will probably see some 60 year old Japanese retiree come out and run a sub 2:30 or something (the WR for a 60 year old is currently 2:38, apparently).
Anyway, this is certainly something new on the international marathon scene and I'm delighted that I will be a part of it.