Posted by: Joe English | September 26, 2008

Races: Marathon popularity continues to surge in Japan

In a story today in the Mainichi Daily News in Japan, the Tokyo Marathon is continuing to see a surge in popularity, perhaps bigger than anything we’ve seen anywhere else in the world.

According to the story, over 260,000 people have applied to run in the 2009 running of the Tokyo Marathon. A lottery will have to be held to determine who gets in to the race, as the field is limited to 30,000 runners.

Apparently, 261,981 people applied to run or walk in the marathon and 10K for 2009. This represents a 68% increase over last year.

Marathon running is extremely popular in Japan at both a popular and elite level. Athens Olympics Marathon Gold Medalist Mizuki Noguchi hails from Japan and Kenyan Sammy Wanjiru who won the gold medal in the Beijing Olympic Marathon moved to Japan to train there.

The Honolulu Marathon field is typically made up of approximately 60% of its field coming from Japan to run, because of its proximity to Japan and its commitment to keep its race-course open as long as it takes for participants to finish the race.

Running Advice and News



  1. I have never seen a country of people who like running like Japan. Due to running popularity, I also started running and will be in my first Marathon on 22nd.
    I am sure if I wasn’t in Japan, I couldn’t have even thought about it!

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