Traditionally, Asia and the East are associated with samurai and fighting. When it comes to traditional sports – football, athletics, golf, thoughts go to the planet’s west side. For a long time, the Japanese wanted to prove what they were capable of.

The time has come and the result has been received. Today, the Tokyo Marathon lists the top six running events in the Majors. The main questions to discuss are how the occurrence was formed and what key factors got top positions.

Why are the Majors so prestigious?

The World Majors are the most prestigious southern events in the world. The annual occurrences have been held since 2006. The Majors are also called the Big Six. Six – because the best include six world marathons.

The Majors include the following marathons:

Location Date Participants Distance
New York November 50 000 42 km
Tokyo March 36 000 42 km
Boston April 31 000 42 km
Chicago October 45 000 42 km
London April 40 000 42 km
Berlin September 40 000 42 km


Every novice amateur or professional athlete dreams of participating in them.

The concept of Six Star Finisher is appropriate here. This is the name of a participating athlete who has finished in all six Majoras marathons. We can safely say that every participant in any of the six occurrences dreams of this title. After finishing the last race, the athlete receives a special AbbottWMM certificate and a unique medal.

Tokyo Marathon History

Each of the six Majors marathons boasts unique characteristics. London has many participants, Boston has a great experience and Berlin has an interesting history. What will make Tokyo happy?

1981 First event – annually 1981 Second event – annually
From 1982 – first event – once every two years From 1982 – second event – once every two years
18 February 2007 – Tokyo Marathon (merging two races)


Tokyo keeps up with Boston with an interesting history of formation. Japan was initially little known in the field of athletics. All events have been created for elite participants. In its modern form, the Tokyo Marathon appeared in 2007.

Organizers will check the first run on February 18th. In fact, before this date, the event consisted of two – the Tokyo International Run and the Tokyo International Race. A long time ago, these two races were held in one year, even in one month. It became financially difficult for sponsors.

The organizers decided to alternate them. In 2007, they reorganized two races into one – modern. Here the participants were not only elite athletes. Anyone could try their hand. Already after 5 years, the Tokyo Marathon was selected in the Top 6 Majors. Thus, he closed the top six.

Recent Race Winners

An interesting fact is that many of the winners of the event are representatives of non-Europe and America. They are from Asia and Africa.

Year Country Winner Time
2011 Ethiopia Hailu Mekonnen 2:07:35
2012 Kenya Michael Kipyego 2:07:37
2013 Kenya Dennis Kimetto 2:06:50
2014 Kenya Dixon Chumba 2:05:42
2015 Ethiopia Endeshau Negesse 2:06:00
2016 Ethiopia Feyisa Lilesa 2:06:56
2017 Kenya Wilson Kipsang 2:03:58
2018 Kenya Dixon Chumba 2:05:30
2019 Ethiopia Birhanu Legese 2:04:48
2020 Ethiopia Birhanu Legese 2:04:15
2021 Virtual holding
2022 Kenya Eliud Kipchoge 2:02:40


During the entire existence of the race, the Japanese became the winner only once. It was in 2010 – Masakazu Fujiwara with a score of 2:12:19. An even more resonant result was the victory of an athlete from Switzerland – the only victory of a European – Victor Rotlin with a score of 2:07:23.

Track and occurrence record

The route of the top race is quite interesting – the road passes through famous historical and tourist places. Height differences are minor. The control time for the race – is 7 hours. With an average pace of 8 and a half, the athlete manages to finish on time.

Records on the track were set by both women and men. Among the most famous:

Year Country Name Time
2020 Japan Naoko Takahashi 2:20:01
2018 Kenya Dixon Chumba 2:19:51


Sponsors, spectators and participants noticed that the Majors lacked just such an Asian touch.