achieving my goal of running on all continents, I searched for a new
goal. I came upon the Abbott World Majors. This consists of running
six specific marathons - Boston, Chicago, New York, Berlin, London,
and Tokyo. I had already run the U S marathons, so that left the
2017 I ran the Berlin Marathon and in 2018 I ran London, which only
left Tokyo. With all of the international marathons, I first entered
through the Lottery, then signed up with Marathon Tours. Marathon
Tours had a guaranteed entry should I not be able to get in through
the lottery. It turned out that I needed the guaranteed entry for
all three races.
travels to Tokyo took me from Oklahoma City to Dallas, and then
direct to Tokyo. I left on February 28, and arrived in Tokyo Friday
evening, March 1. I didn't have any travel problems.
morning I had to make my way to the expo. To do so meant that I
would have to navigate the Tokyo subway. It was fairly easy to use,
with color coded maps and instructions in both Japanese and English.
Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics, the exposition center the
marathon normally uses was under renovations. Therefore the expo was
held in a series of tents. Once again things went smoothly and I
returned to my hotel to prepare for the marathon on Sunday morning.
got up Sunday morning, went outside to check the weather, and it was
overcast and looking like rain. I went back inside for breakfast in
the hotel. While talking to a man at breakfast, he asked if I had a
poncho. I said no, and he offered an extra I could use if I wanted.
I gladly accepted.
breakfast, I left to find my starting corral, which was within
walking distance from the hotel. I was in position with about 45
minutes before the start. It was already raining and I was thankful
for the poncho.
gun went off at 9:30 and it took about 10 minutes for me to cross the
starting line, as there were approximately 38,000 runners. There
were a lot of out and back portions to the race, but there was always
a timing mat at the turn around to catch people who might cut the
course short. I ran at what I considered a moderate pace, and the
constant rain did not affect my running. The course was well
managed, and there was little possibility of missing a turn.
race takes place completely within the city. Some of the sights we
passed were The Sensoji Temple where they were playing traditional
court music. We also ran past the Tokyo Skytree, and the Tokyo
Tower, which looks a lot like the Eiffel Tower.
with any international race, my primary goal was to finish in a
reasonable time, but not push it and risk injury. While I was trying
to keep a steady pace,around mile 18 I started to feel fatigued and
began to slow down. I was still able to keep running, and managed to
finish in four hours and forty-three minutes.
finishing I was directed to pick up both my Tokyo Marathon and World
Majors Finisher’s Medals. I made my way back to my hotel, attended
a ceremony for the finishers and had dinner.
my stay in Japan, I toured the city, took an all day excursion to Mt.
Fuji, sampled many different foods, and took in as much of the
culture as I could.
Once one decides to do the World
Majors, you have to go to their web site and create a profile. You
then fill in the race or races you’ve already completed. After
that, you update it as you finish others. When you’re ready to run
your sixth World Major, you email them and let them know. In my case
when I picked up my bib in Tokyo, it had a QR Code on it, and when I
finished, I was directed to a tent where they were passing out the
six star medal. They scanned my code, give me the medal, and took my
All the World Majors are excellent
races, well run and supported. Some people complained about the
tight cutoffs in Tokyo, but I felt like they were fair. If I had to
pick a favorite overall, it would be Boston, because of the tradition
and support. My favorite outside the USA was Tokyo, because of the
city, the sights, and the support.
Now that I have finished an
ultramarathon on all seven continents and the six World Majors, I’m
asked what’s next? I’m not sure yet. It seems as though
finishing a marathon in all fifty states might be a candidate. If I
make that my next goal, perhaps 100 marathons might happen along the