Tokyo Marathon Joins World Marathon Majors
Tokyo Marathon will be the Sixth Event in the Series, along with
Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City
New York, NY – The World Marathon Majors® (WMM) today
announced the addition of the Tokyo Marathon to the World Marathon
Majors Series. The seventh Tokyo Marathon, which will be held on
February 24, 2013, will be the first race in the 2013 – 2014 World
Marathon Majors scoring period. The Tokyo Marathon is the first World
Marathon Majors event to be based in Asia.
“Tokyo is honored to join the World Marathon Majors,” said Tad Hayano,
Tokyo Marathon Foundation Race Director. “As the first marathon from
Asia, we will continuously make an effort to expand the brand of the WMM
in Asia. Likewise, as the one of the World Marathon Majors, we believe
that the Tokyo Marathon can make an even more positive contribution to
the world marathon scene by working with our new partners.”
Founded on January 23, 2006 by the Boston, Virgin London, BMW Berlin,
Bank of America Chicago, and ING New York City marathons, the World
Marathon Majors is a race series offering a $1 million prize purse to be
split equally between the top male and female marathoners in the world.
In addition to the six other races, the IAAF World Championships and
Olympic marathons also serve as scoring events in the years in which
they are held. Athletes earn points by placing among the top five in
each race during a two-year scoring period. The champions of the WMM
will be the man and woman who score the greatest number of points during
the two-year scoring period.
In a joint statement from the World Marathon Majors Race Directors, Tom
Grilk, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association and Boston
Marathon, added, “We at World Marathon Majors are delighted to have
Tokyo join our group. The Japanese have a magnificent history and
tradition in the marathon, and the Japanese people have long embraced
the marathon and distance running in general. They are among the finest
fans in the world for our sport.”
The inaugural Tokyo Marathon was held on February 18, 2007 and drew
95,044 applicants and 30,870 participants. Kenya’s Daniel Njenga
(2:09:45) and Japan’s Hitomi Niiya (2:31:01) were the race’s first
champions. Since 2007, the Tokyo Marathon has grown to over 300,000
applicants and nearly 36,000 participants. In addition to serving as the
first race of the 2013 – 2014 WMM scoring period, the 2013 Tokyo
Marathon will double as the Japanese men’s national team trials for the
14th IAAF World Championships Marathon in Moscow. Prior to the
establishment of the Tokyo Marathon Foundation in 2007, the city of
Tokyo hosted two separate marathon events for elite men and women,
dating back to 1980 and 1979, respectively.
Each of the World Marathon Majors races boasts an international elite
field for both men and women, has a mass participatory field completing
the same course as the elite runners, takes place in a major
international market, and is regarded as among the best in the industry.
About the Tokyo Marathon
Organized by the Tokyo Marathon Foundation and established in 2007, the
Tokyo Marathon hosts nearly 36,000 participants on a tour of Tokyo’s
iconic tourist attractions. Through its theme, “The Day We Unite,” the
Tokyo Marathon unites runners, volunteers, and spectators on race day.
Following the 2011 race, the Tokyo Marathon instituted “Tsunagu,” a
companion charity program for the Tokyo Marathon. Donations go to
charitable activities in various fields according to the concept of
“Tsunagu,” or solidarity. Registration for the 2013 Tokyo Marathon,
which closed on August 31, drew over 300,000 applicants.