Runners, to the mark

Tokyo Marathon 2010 secrets, deals and fun

Runners, to the mark

The Tokyo Marathon 2010 hits the road on February 28. First held in 2007 and now in its 4th year, the marathon was the result of a merger between the Tokyo International Marathon and the Tokyo City Road race. This year, the Tokyo Marathon is marked as a major international road race in the Gold Label class by the International Association of Athletics Federation. The only gold level class competition in Japan, it’s now in the ranks of the New York City Marathon and the London City Marathon as a grand-scale race for the general public.

The race kicks off in front of the Metropolitan Government Buildings in Shinjuku, and takes in the sights of top Tokyo spots, with participants running through Kabuki-cho, the Imperial Palace area, Tokyo Tower area, Asakusa, Ginza, past the soon to be demolished Kabuki-za Theatre then onto the finish line at Tokyo Big Sight. Although the final stage of the course is tough, with repeated uphill and downhill sections, this year 311,411 people submitted applications to participate. Lottery participants had an ultimate 8.9% chance of participating, with a total of 35,000 being chosen to run. The proof is in the numbers: this event is officially popular.

It’s estimated that on race day there will be 10,000 volunteers and an expected 1,000,000 spectators lining the streets to cheer on the runners. Even for those not running, there are still ways to get involved. Along the course, 28 events will be taking place as part of the ‘Tokyo Big Marathon Festa’– including traditional arts and dance performances, giving spectators plenty of other entertainment before and after the pack pass through.

The fun of the Tokyo Marathon isn’t just limited to race day, either. Across Tokyo, there will be related events and services for people to get the most out of Tokyo’s biggest event. Check out the possibilities, not just for runners, but also those on the sidelines. The Tokyo Marathon brings people together – and you have to be in it to win it.

Warm-up with the ‘Tokyo Marathon Expo 2010’

Held prior to the start of Tokyo Marathon 2010, this expo takes place at the runner registration venue and features events, exhibitions and sporting goods for purchase. The exhibition hall will host an enormous board set up for runners, volunteers and supporters to leave their messages. There is also a huge photo backdrop of the finish line where visitors can have a commemorative photo taken, as if they are about to cross the finish line. For some extra motivation, check out the winner’s trophies, which will be on display.

Location: Tokyo Big Sight, West Halls 1 & 2
Address: 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto, Tokyo
Date: Thur Feb 25-Sat Feb 27
Open: 10am-8pm (last entry 7.30pm)

Get your knowledge up to speed at Tokyo Runners Café

This café – open for a limited time only – provides running and marathon related information. Inside the café, the latest running shoes and gear from likes of Asics and adidas are on display. There is also information on domestic and overseas marathons and other running events.

Address: Cafe “Sunny Table” 1F JPR Sendagaya Bldg, 4-23-5 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)6890 0100
Date: Wed Feb 10–Wed Mar 31
Open: Mon-Fri 11am-11pm (LO 10pm), Sat 11am-9pm, closed Sun, nat. holidays

Make a pit stop at the Imperial Palace area’s adidas RUNBASE

Opened on February 19 by adidas, RUNBASE is a running station providing locker space and showers to runners taking advantage of the Imperial Palace’s popular running courses. Not only can you stow your gear and get clean, but you can also take advantage of services like testing out adidas’ newest customising service, and browsing the latest footwear and apparel. True to the name, adidas RUNBASE is expressly for runners, with staff specialising in running – a first for the brand.
(read more)

Run in imperial luxury (Imperial Jogging Stay plan)

For a limited time, the Imperial Hotel is offering an accommodation package for those competing in the marathon. In addition to a night’s stay, guests are provided with a compact running map, use of the pool and fitness centre and half-price laundry services. A heart monitor is also available on rental, or alternatively, guests can choose a stay package that includes their own heart monitor made by Polar.

Imperial Hotel Tokyo - Tower Bldg Standard (31 m2) Room
Price: Standard Plan 1 person: ¥32,000 / 2 people: ¥36,500
   Heart monitor special plan 1 person: ¥46,500 / 2 people: ¥66,000
Available until Mar 31.
Address: 1-1-1 Saiwaicho, Chiyoda, Tokyo
Phone: (03)3504 1251

Free as the wind (Vantean Cruise)

Vantean Cruise will be holding a Welcome to Tokyo Marathon 2010 Fair. Runners and volunteers will be able to board the cruise boat for free together with three friends if they wear their bib or staff clothes. This is a great opportunity to see Odaiba and Haneda Airport, as well as other spots around Tokyo Bay from the boat’s deck. Meals are also available at a discounted price. Reservations are essential.

Date: Wed Feb 25–Sun Feb 28
Time: Lunch Time Cruise – 12noon-2pm
   Sunset Cruise – 4.40-6:40pm
   Dinner Time – 7.10-9.30pm
Address: 1-12-2 Kaigan, Minato, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3436 2121

Breakfast of champions (Ours Inn Hankyu)

This business hotel, located in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward boasts low prices and a huge Japanese style bath with a view. It’s located in front of Oimachi Station, making it possible to get to the marathon’s starting line in 20 minutes, using the Rinkai Line train. Even better, the hotel is only 10 minutes from the finish line. The hotel is offering runners competing in the marathon, a free ticket to use the bath after they have finished the race (even post-check-out). On the morning of the big event, the hotel will also provide a special breakfast set including cereal and bananas for runners called ‘A Wish For a Perfect Run Set’ in the hotel’s restaurant for ¥500.

Address: 1-50-5 Ooi, Shingawa, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3775 6121

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 Order-made 'mi Performance' aim for a perfect fit
It’s the taking part that counts
 The city’s top runs, locations and events

By Kyoko Kitamura
Translated by E. Kavanagh
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.



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