Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya bagged another victory in his lengthy list of achievements after winning the Tokyo Marathon on March 6 with an average time of 2hrs, 2 minutes, and 40 seconds. This is the fastest time ever for the marathon to date in Japan.
The achievement came right after his win at the Olympic marathon in Tokyo this summer.
Kengo Suzuki was fourth in the race in 2:05:28, which is the fastest time in the field of Japanese runners.
Mao Ichiyama, the wife of Suzuki, clocked at 2:21:02, which was sixth place in the women’s division, the top in Japanese female athletes.
Apart from the elite runners, 19,188 of the 25,000 participants were general public. It was the first occasion in the past three years for the general public to participate in the race following the COVID-19 outbreak.
They were required to prove that they were not infected with the novel coronavirus through PCR testing and then report daily if they suffered from any illness 10 days before the race.
Though organizers had asked Tokyo residents to avoid gathering in crowds to cheer the participants, they turned out in droves to cheer on runners in a few busy areas in Tokyo’s capital.
After the race, Nana Arakawa, a 36-year-old company employee, told the media that she had difficulty staying away from the other runners because they were close to each other.
Announcing such an event while the health system is in the midst of a crisis due to the pandemic will cause public outrage, She said.
“But I felt good while running,” her first marathon after quite a while, she explained.