Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Tokyo Marathon to be added to World Major list...

Friday, November 02, 2012

Tokyo Marathon to be added to World Major list...

Up to now, there have been five World Major Marathons....Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York and London. On Friday the 2nd of November, the races’ directors, who will be meeting in New York ahead of the New York City Marathon, will announce that Tokyo will become the sixth World Marathon Major.

The Tokyo is already one of the largest Marathons in the world with some 300,000 people applying for the 36,000 places. About 10 percent of the field is from overseas and the entry fee is 10,000 yen, or about €100.

Adding Tokyo to the calendar means there will be three major marathons, along with Boston and London in the Spring, and three — Berlin, Chicago and New York — in the autumn. Tokyo’s next race will be Feb. 24. It is also the first marathon major outside of Europe and the United States, and organizers hope that Tokyo may also benefit from runners who want to compete in every major race.

Until now, the five race directors made equal contributions to the $1 million pool of prize money split between the top male and female finisher in the two-year race series. That pool will now be split six ways. Tokyo’s race in February will be the first race of the 2013-2014 cycle.

The original five races that make up World Marathon Majors, a confederation of independent races, established benchmarks for new entrants, including a significant pro field and prize money; news media coverage; mass participation; as well as a history of 25 years or more. Only the last standard was bent on Tokyo’s behalf.

“It has always been a thought that Asia naturally should be involved, and Tokyo fits the bill more than any other event,” said Tom Grilk, the executive director of the Boston Athletic Association, which puts on the Boston Marathon.

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