Tokyo Marathon Preview and Where to Watch

Published 28 Feb 2024

The opening Abbott World Marathon Majors event of 2024 will take place in Tokyo as the passionate marathon nation of Japan welcomes a trio of leading NN Running Team performers. Read more below to get the full lowdown on the race, which takes place on Sunday (3 March) 2024.

Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge has selected a return to the Tokyo Marathon as he builds up his preparations for a tilt at an unprecedented three Olympic marathon gold medals in Paris.

The endurance running icon has happy memories of the race having triumphed in the Japanese capital two years ago in a race record time of 2:02:40.

Kipchoge boasts a proud race record in country having struck Olympic gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics - when the marathon was run on the streets of Sapporo. Meanwhile, long before his days of marathon domination, he claimed a 5000m silver medal on the track at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.

Kipchoge has enjoyed a good preparation and is excited by the prospect of pursuing what will be the 12th Marathon Major of his extraordinary career.

“Japanese people love running, their culture is instilled in running, and they love marathons. It’s a good city, I can say it is a marathon city. I am looking to running fast again and enjoy.”

Victor Kiplangat

Further bolstering the NN Running Team challenge is Victor Kiplangat, who last year stormed to success on the streets of Budapest to be crowned world champion. Since making his marathon debut the Ugandan, a former world mountain running champion, has transitioned brilliantly to the 42.2km distance.

In 2022 Kiplangat set a PB of 2:05:09 in Hamburg to place fourth before showing his championship pedigree by romping to gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Last year he placed second in the Osaka Marathon, clocking 2:06:03 before earning the biggest win of his upwardly mobile career on the streets of the Hungarian capital.

Lonah Salpeter

In the women’s race, Lonah Salpeter returns to the scene of her greatest marathon win after taking victory in the 2020 Tokyo Marathon in an Israeli record time of 2:17:45.

Salpeter has claimed five successive top four finishes in marathons, which includes a 2022 World Championships bronze and podiums in New York, Boston and Nagoya, so expect the 35-year-old mother to be a major threat as she takes on her latest marathon challenge.

Race Details

A fast, flat course, the field of 37,500 marathon runners will starts their quest at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building before heading gently downhill for the first 5km. The course then flattens out for the remainder with no major hills to overcome as the runners make their way to the finish at Tokyo Station.

Kipchoge with his 2022 time of 2:02:40 holds the men’s race record with the women’s mark of 2:16:02 held by Brigid Kosgei of Kenya recorded in the same year. 

When to Watch the Tokyo Marathon?

The starting gun will be fired at 9.10am local time. Check out below the start time in other time zones.

Start time in Central Europe (eg Netherlands, Germany, Spain) – 1.10am (Sunday)

Start time in Kenya, Ethiopia – 3.10am (Sunday)

Starting time in New York – 7.10pm (Saturday)

Starting time in Los Angeles – 4.10pm (Saturday)

Starting time in Sydney – 11.10am (Sunday)