Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon (東京マラソン, Tokyo Marason) is an annual marathon sporting event in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. It is an World Athletics Platinum Label[3] marathon and one of the six World Marathon Majors.[4] The latest edition of the race took place on 1 March 2020. It is sponsored by Tokyo Metro.

Tokyo Marathon

The 2009 Tokyo Marathon
LocationTokyo, Japan
Event typeRoad
Established2007 (14 years ago) (2007)
Participants165 finishers (elite only) (2020)[1]
35,460 finishers (2019)[2]
2021 Tokyo Marathon


The first Tokyo Marathon was held on 18 February 2007. However, years prior to 2007, Tokyo Marathon actually consisted of two marathons - the Tokyo International Marathon which took place on even years, and Tokyo - New York Friendship International Marathon which took place on odd years. In the inaugural year, 1981, both marathons took place. However, because it was not possible to support two marathons a month apart in the same city, from 1982, the alternating format went into effect.[citation needed]

The 2007 marathon was also a representative selection race of the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka. The total number of participants was set at 30,000. Of that, 25,000 people signed up for the marathon, and 5,000 signed up for the 10K run.

Masakazu Fujiwara became the race's first Japanese male winner at the fourth edition.[5]

The 2011 Tokyo Marathon was held on Sunday, 27 February 2011. It was the first Tokyo Marathon in which the weather was not rainy.

In February 2014, Dickson Chumba won in a record time of 2:05:42. This was only the second time a runner ran below 2h06 in Japan, after Tsegaye Kebede in Fukuoka Marathon (December 6, 2009). His runner-up, Tadese Tola did also run below 2:06, in a time of 2:05:57.[6]

The 2020 Tokyo Marathon was canceled for the general public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those athletes were given a deferral. Elite athletes were still invited to participate.[7] Rock musician Hyde composed an inspirational song titled "Believe in Myself" for the 2020 event.[8]

Similarly, the 2021 edition of the race, originally scheduled for March, was postponed to 17 October 2021 due to the pandemic.[9][10]

Numbers of applicants and runners

Runners taking part in the 2008 Tokyo Marathon

When registrations closed for the 2015 Tokyo marathon 308,810 people had applied for the full marathon, and 1,014 had applied for the 10 km race. This gave a total number of 309,824 applicants and an oversubscription rate of 11.3 for the marathon.[11]

For the 2019 event, there were 331,211 applicants. 330,271 of the applications were for the full marathon and 940 were for the 10 km race.[12]

Elite runners

Apart from the invited athletes, runners registered with JAAF who satisfy the following requirement can register in the Elite field.[13]
In 2014, the requirements were:


  • Full Marathon (2:23:00)
  • Half Marathon (1:01:30)
  • 10K (Road) (28:10)


  • Full Marathon (2:54:00)
  • Half Marathon (1:11:00)
  • 10K (Road) (32:10)


Start line at Shinjuku in 2019


Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building -> Iidabashi -> Nihonbashi (10 km Finish) -> Asakusa -> Koto (Halfway Point) -> Nihonbashi -> Ginza -> Shinagawa -> Hibiya Park -> Tokyo Station (Full Marathon Finish)[14]


Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building -> Tokyo Imperial Palace -> Hibiya Park (10 km Finish) -> Shinagawa -> Ginza -> Nihonbashi -> Asakusa -> Tsukiji -> Tokyo Big Sight (Full Marathon Finish)


Full marathon finish line in 2012

Key:   Course record

YearMen's winnerCountryTimeWomen's winnerCountryTime
2020[15]Birhanu Legese Ethiopia2:04:15Lonah Chemtai Salpeter Israel2:17:45
2019Birhanu Legese Ethiopia2:04:48Ruti Aga Ethiopia2:20:40
2018Dickson Chumba Kenya2:05:30Birhane Dibaba Ethiopia2:19:51
2017[16]Wilson Kipsang Kenya2:03:58Sarah Chepchirchir Kenya2:19:47
2016Feyisa Lilesa Ethiopia2:06:56Helah Kiprop Kenya2:21:27
2015Endeshaw Negesse Ethiopia2:06:00Birhane Dibaba Ethiopia2:23:15
2014Dickson Chumba Kenya2:05:42Tirfi Tsegaye Ethiopia2:22:23
2013Dennis Kimetto Kenya2:06:50Aberu Kebede Ethiopia2:25:34
2012Michael Kipyego Kenya2:07:37Atsede Habtamu Ethiopia2:25:28
2011Hailu Mekonnen Ethiopia2:07:35Noriko Higuchi [17] Japan2:28:49
2010Masakazu Fujiwara Japan2:12:19Alevtina Biktimirova Russia2:34:39
2009Salim Kipsang Kenya2:10:27Mizuho Nasukawa Japan2:25:38
2008Viktor Röthlin  Switzerland2:07:23Claudia Dreher Germany2:35:35
2007Daniel Njenga Kenya2:09:45Hitomi Niiya Japan2:31:02

See also


  1. "Results and Records from Past Races TOKYO MARATHON 2020 | TOKYO MARATHON 2021". 2020-10-09. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  2. "Results and Records from Past Races TOKYO MARATHON 2019 | TOKYO MARATHON 2021". 2020-10-09. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  3. World Athletics Platinum Label Road Racing. World Athletics (2020). Retrieved on 2020-01-15.
  4. "Tokyo Marathon joins World Marathon Majors series - ESPN". 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2015-03-05.
  5. "News". Retrieved 2015-03-05.
  6. Archived March 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  7. "To the registered runners of the Tokyo Marathon 2020". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-02-18.
  8. "HYDE to Release New Single Inspired by Tokyo Marathon 2020". Jame World. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  9. "Regarding the Tokyo Marathon 2021 | TOKYO MARATHON 2021". 2020-10-09. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  10. "Tokyo marathon 2021 postponed until after Olympics due to COVID-19 concerns | Reuters". 2020-10-09. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-04. Retrieved 2015-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. "Tokyo Marathon 2019 General Runner Application Status Update!". Tokyo Marathon. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
  13. "Guideline for applicants ď˝œ TOKYO MARATHON 2014 : The Day We Unite". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-05.
  14. "Course Map(Provisional) | TOKYO MARATHON 2018". Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  15. "東京マラソン リーダーボード(速報)". Retrieved 2020-03-02.
  16. Ken Nakamura (26 February 2017). "Kipsang and Chepchirchir clock world leads and Japanese all-comers' records at Tokyo Marathon". IAAF. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  17. "Tokyo Marathon 2011 : Rectifies the result of the ranking of Marathon / Woman | Tokyo Marathon 2012". Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2015-03-05.