Part 1: Tokyo Marathon – Race Expo

Wednesday, 5 March 2014  |  Race Reports

I had been dreaming of running Tokyo Marathon for the past few years.  The dream was planted by a friend who mentioned that Japanese hand out chocolates from start to finish of the race. (I know, I’m easy!)  Then, when Tokyo was included into the roster of World Marathon Majors just recently, it was a no brainer.  I signed up for the lottery and later found out I had been chosen!  It was fate!

So, I left for Tokyo last February 20, ran the marathon on the 23rd, did some marathon shopping on the 24th, and got back last February 25.  For the next few days, I had been practically glued to my bed uncertain if I was tired from the marathon or the marathon shopping-eating combination.

Thankfully, with the help of deep tissue massage and Bikram Yoga, I’ve been able to bounce back this week with renewed energy.  And so this begins my series of posts about Tokyo Marathon.  Sit back with some sushi and enjoy!


Brrrrrr. It was freezing cold when I, along with friends Ton and Lit accompanied by his wife and son, arrived in Tokyo on Thursday afternoon. After we checked into our hotel, Keio Plaza Hotel, which was a partner hotel of the race and was conveniently located across the starting line of the marathon, Ton, Lit and I wasted no time in heading out to the race expo to claim our race kit. Uh huh, we weren’t that excited.

The Tokyo Marathon race expo was located at Tokyo Big Sight, the venue for the finish line. It was a fantastic expo, comparable to the expo of other bigger marathons, like New York and London and much better than Berlin’s. Allow these photos to do the talking…

Entrance to the Expo

The requisite pose by the entrance before claiming my bib

Orderly, organized, and, most importantly, quick claiming of race kits

Big poster of the Tokyo Marathon course

And now we feel like we walk through the course

Tokyo Marathon is now part of the World Marathon Majors which include 5 other marathons: Berlin, London, New York, Chicago, and Boston. After Tokyo, I have two more to go!

Tokyo Marathon medals

Runners hang notes for the marathon

After claiming our race kits and having the chip tested, we entered the sponsors’ booths area to be welcomed by this view. My jaw dropped. I had never seen so many official race shirt choices before. (Later I learn that only 3 or 4 of those shirts were for women. Boo!)

They had official race towels, gloves, and caps too.

The official apparel and shoe sponsor of the race was Asics, but almost all major shoe brands were represented here. Conspicuously absent was Nike.

– We are marathoners! –

Limited Edition Tokyo Marathon Saucony shoes

And now for more shopping!

Only in Tokyo will you spot CW-X tights that are these colourful!

In case you tire while running, they had a BMW bike too LOL

NEXT: Part 2: Tokyo Marathon – Eats & Run