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Tokyo Marathon

One of the most famous marathons in the world, the Tokyo Marathon has up to 35,500 runners competing in it every year.

The marathon starts to the west of the city, and after around 7km the runners approach the Imperial Palace. For those running the 10km race, the finish is just past there at Hibiya Park. The marathon course continues south until just past the 15km mark when a tight turn has the runners heading back north. The runners continue north until the 28km mark. The course ends, with a run through the harbour area, at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center. The course is quite flat and shows runners many of the tourist areas as well as several bridges. There are regular drink stations around the course.

Japanese runners have won the event, with Masakazu Fujiwara winning the men's race in 2010 and twice the women's race has been won by a local with Mizuho Nasukawa and Noriko Higuchi finishing ahead of the rest of the field. The course record is held by Swiss runner Viktor Rothlin, he set the time of 2 hours, 7 minutes and 23 seconds in the 2008 race. The fastest time for a woman was recorded in 2012 by Atsede Habtamu of Ethiopia with 2 hours, 25 minutes and 28 seconds.

With the race being run in late February, the weather is usually cold and sometimes wet. Temperatures during that time of year can range from lows of 4 degrees Celsius to highs of 12 degrees Celsius. The race is a Gold Label IAAF event and hosted by the Tokyo Marathon Foundation and Japan Association of Athletics Federations. The Tokyo Marathon is used to pick runners to compete for Japan in the Olympics and other large events.

Tokyo Narita International Airport and Tokyo Haneda International Airport are where many runners will first arrive for the race. Trains run to the city from the airports and runners can use public transport to get to the marathon starting line.

Visitors to Tokyo will want to visit the many shopping areas, the Tokyo National Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art, watch the Sumo wrestling in their Ryogoku Kokugikan venue or the various baseball and soccer matches around Tokyo.

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