Tokyo Marathon

2017-02-26

The Tokyo Marathon was on Sunday, February 26, starting at 9:10. For regular runners, you apply in August and there's a lottery, the results of which are posted in October. After five years of applying, my number came up, so I started training and ran the race.

Checkpointタイム
(スプリット)
タイム
(ネット)
タイム
(ラップ)
通過時刻
5k00:32:000:26:370:26:3709:42:00
10k01:01:040:55:410:29:0410:11:04
15k01:26:591:21:360:25:5510:36:59
20k01:53:071:47:440:26:0811:03:07
25k02:19:592:14:360:26:5211:29:59
30k02:46:582:41:350:26:5911:56:58
35k03:15:333:10:100:28:3512:25:33
40k03:44:513:39:280:29:1812:54:51
Finish03:57:123:51:490:12:2113:07:12
CheckpointTime
(Split)
Time
(Net)
Time
(Lap)
Time of day

The above table is timing data from the Tokyo Marathon Foundation. The split time and net time are slightly different. I think they're trying to offset the waiting time at the start line. Anyway, the race started at 9:10, and I walked across the start line at 9:20. I think people were going slowly so they could take pictures, and we all started jogging right after that. The slow start is normal for a race with 36,000 people.

My lap times were fairly consistent. The 10k lap time was longer because of a quick restroom and stretch stop. And the 35k and 40k lap times were longer because I got tired. Still, I was happy with my speed, and how I kept the pace fairly well. If you go too fast at the beginning, you get tired and feel bad, which sucks, and your overall time can suffer greatly. My right calf was bothering me at the start, which is generally bad, but when I ran slowly, it felt fine, and that helped me keep a slow and steady pace.

2017-02-25.01.Map.png

The area around the start is incredibly crowded. There were hundreds of toilets, but with thousands of runners in line, good luck! Better to use the bathroom at the train station, check your luggage, and wait for the race to start. There are many porta potties along the way, and once the crowd spreads out, the wait time is low.

It was cold at the start line, but what you can do is wear some throwaway clothes and a cheap rain poncho waiting for the starting gun. Both before and after the race starts, there are hundreds of volunteer staff members with trash bags who will take your unwanted clothing and throw it away. I wore a rain poncho, hat, and gloves until just before the race started. What's seven dollars matter when you've been training for six months?

The start line was cold, but overall the weather was wonderful. There was almost no wind, it was sunny, and it was fairly warm. The volunteer staff and fans along the road were all friendly and supportive, which makes a big difference when you're running for so long. The Tokyo Marathon has excellent drink and food stands. Every 5k there is a water or energy drink station. In the latter half of the race, there are several food stands. I ate an orange, a bread roll with cream in it, M&Ms, and seven umeboshi. The umeboshi were my favorite because of the salt. Those are the official drink and food stands, and many fans will give you free food or drink along the way, but that's in lower quantity so you can't plan around it.

The atmosphere of the race is great, because there are so many runners, many in costume, and the fans and volunteers are ridiculously excited. Plus, you get to run through the touristy parts of Tokyo: Shinjuku, Asakusa, the Sky Tree, and Tokyo Station. It's a lot of work training for a full marathon, and my feet hurt, but it was a fun race.

2017-02-27.01.Towel.jpg 2017-02-27.02.Medal.jpg 2017-02-27.03.Medal.jpg 2017-02-26.02.Report.jpg 2017-02-27.04.Results.jpg 2017-02-27.05.Results.jpg

Adam and Tomoko came to cheer during the race, which was very cool of them, and later we had bacon cheeseburgers and milk shakes.

2017-02-26.01.Cheeseburger.jpg 2017-02-26.03.Douglas.jpg

Expo

The expo for the marathon was held Thursday through Saturday at Tokyo Big Sight. We all had to go down there to pick up our bibs, time chips, and security wrist bands. Hundreds of vendors set up booths with shoes, running gear, energy drinks, and other touristy stuff. I bought a small towel and tried on some shoes.

2017-02-24.01.Expo.jpg 2017-02-24.02.Expo.jpg 2017-02-24.03.Expo.jpg 2017-02-24.04.Expo.jpg 2017-02-24.05.Expo.jpg 2017-02-24.06.Expo.jpg 2017-02-24.07.Tokyo Big Sight.jpg 2017-02-24.08.Towel.jpg 2017-02-24.09.Beer.jpg 2017-02-24.10.Chip.jpg 2017-02-24.11.Chip.jpg 2017-02-24.12.Bib.jpg 2017-02-24.13.Baggage.jpg 2017-02-24.14.Shirt.jpg 2017-02-24.15.Wristband.jpg

Training

Here's how I trained for the marathon. On days that I ran, the kilometers are written. For example, "10k" means I ran ten kilometers. Other sports are iconified: karate = Karate.svg, volleyball = Volleyball.svg, basketball = Basketball.svg, and dance = Dance.svg. The application was due in late August. The entry results came by email on September 15, so that is when the calendar begins.

Shoe.svg

Month Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Month
September
16
Karate.svg
17
10k Volleyball.svg Basketball.svg
September
18
Dance.svg
19
5k Dance.svg
20
Relax.svg
21
7.3k
22
11.2k
23
Relax.svg
24
Basketball.svg
25
5k
26
13.6k Dance.svg
27
Dance.svg
28
Relax.svg
29
Dance.svg
30
5k Dance.svg
1
7.3k
October
October
2
3k
3
Relax.svg
4
Dance.svg
5
5k
6
Relax.svg
7
Basketball.svg Dance.svg
8
Relax.svg
9
Relax.svg
10
24k
11
Relax.svg
12
Relax.svg
13
4.6k Basketball.svg
14
Karate.svg Dance.svg
15
Volleyball.svg Basketball.svg
16
Dance.svg
17
Dance.svg
18
5k
19
Relax.svg
20
5k
21
Dance.svg
22
Relax.svg
23
Relax.svg
24
7.3k Dance.svg
25
Relax.svg
26
Relax.svg
27
Relax.svg
28
Relax.svg
29
10k
30
8k
31
Relax.svg
1
Relax.svg
2
Relax.svg
3
5k Dance.svg
4
Karate.svg Dance.svg
5
Relax.svg
November
November
6
5k
7
5k
8
Relax.svg
9
Basketball.svg
10
Relax.svg
11
Relax.svg
12
2k
13
4k
14
4k
15
2k
16
5k
17
Dance.svg
18
Karate.svg Dance.svg
19
Volleyball.svg
20
Relax.svg
21
5k
22
Dance.svg
23
5k
24
Dance.svg
25
Dance.svg
26
Relax.svg
27
5k
28
5k
29
Dance.svg
30
6k
1
Dance.svg
2
Dance.svg
3
7k
December
December
4
6k
5
7k Dance.svg
6
Relax.svg
7
Relax.svg
8
7k
9
10k Dance.svg
10
5k Dance.svg
11
5k Dance.svg
12
8k Dance.svg
13
Dance.svg
14
5k
15
5k
16
12k
17
10k
18
23k
19
5k
20
12k Dance.svg
21
Relax.svg
22
5k
23
12.8k
24
Relax.svg
25
Relax.svg
26
Relax.svg
27
Relax.svg
28
5k
29
7k
30
5k
31
8k
January
1
Relax.svg
2
Relax.svg
3
15k
4
10k
5
8k
6
Relax.svg
7
Relax.svg
January
8
Relax.svg
9
23k
10
Relax.svg
11
Relax.svg
12
5k
13
7k Dance.svg
14
Relax.svg
15
Relax.svg
16
7k Dance.svg
17
Relax.svg
18
7k
19
Relax.svg
20
Karate.svg Dance.svg
21
Relax.svg
22
34.3k
23
8k
24
Relax.svg
25
Relax.svg
26
5k
27
Relax.svg
28
Basketball.svg
29
7k Volleyball.svg
30
5k
31
Relax.svg
1
7k
2
5k
3
7k
4
7k
February
February
5
20k
6
5k Dance.svg
7
Relax.svg
8
5k
9
Relax.svg
10
7k Dance.svg
11
7k
12
7k
13
8k
14
5k Dance.svg
15
7k
16
5k Dance.svg
17
7k Dance.svg
18
Karate.svg
19
7k
20
Dance.svg
21
7k
22
Relax.svg
23
7k
24
 
25
 
26
42.195k
Month Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Month