The 2009 Tokyo Marathon being held March 22, 2009, is expected to see Olympic enthusiasm climb to new heights in Japan said a Tokyo 2016 press release. Following the September 24th announcement, applications for the marathon have reportedly surpassed 261,000, an increase of more than 70 per cent over last year’s applications. Last year the marathon drew about 12,000 volunteers and two million course spectators.
Following the Beijing Olympics, Tokyo 2016 says interest and excitement for sport events such as the marathon has soared to an all time high in Japan.
The route of the marathon passes though the proposed Olympic Park that will encompass most of Tokyo 2016’s planned venues, beginning at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in the Heritage Zone and ending at the envisioned Olympic Stadium in the Tokyo Bay Zone.
Dr. Ichiro Kono, Chairman and CEO of Tokyo 2016 said, “the Tokyo Marathon, like the Olympic Games, attracts the support of many, many millions of spectators and television viewers in Japan where enthusiasm for sport is particularly passionate. Olympic fever is sweeping the country like never before, with Tokyo Marathon applications soaring to new heights in the same year that Tokyo 2016 was selected as Candidate City and Beijing hosted its spectacular 2008 Summer Games. There is a real sense of excitement as the Japanese people unite behind sport and Tokyo 2016 with the dream of experiencing the inspirational atmosphere of the world’s greatest sporting event”.
A lottery draw will be held in November to select the 30,000 full-marathon participants and the 5,000 10 km participants.