Tokyo Marathon International Friendship Run 2013 was held under sunny sky in Odaiba on Saturday afternoon, the day before the big race. The sunny weather was quite a contrast to a year ago, when the event was held under steady rain.
The opening ceremony of the event started at 12:30PM with the traditional drum performances from Ryukyu Kingdom, the old Kingdom that ruled the Okinawa area. It was followed by opening address by Tad Hayano, the race director of Tokyo Marathon. Ikumi Yoshimatsu, Miss International made an appearance next, which was followed by introduction of six race directors of World Marathon Majors. David Bedford, chair of the IAAF Road Running Commission and former race director of London Marathon spoke next. Bedford, of course, is a former world record holder at 10000m.
Then the runners warmed up for the run by “radio exercise,” the standard exercise familiar to anybody who attended elementary school in Japan.
Starting at 1PM, three waves of runners started the run to cover the distance approximately 1/10th of the marathon. The first wave was sent off by Koji Sakurai of Tokyo Marathon Foundation, which was followed by the second wave, and the third. The official starter of the third wave was David Bedford. The run was not meant to be the race, and the runners were asked not to pass the pace maker. However, at the very end, the competitive instinct took a hold and the runners finished the run with the mad dash to the finish.
Photo Album on Tokyo Marathon Foundation Official Facebook page