Running in Asian countries has developed strongly in recent years.

In countries like Japan or China, new major running events are emerging year after year. While there have been many top runners in Japan or China for decades, popular sports have now also found great interest in running.

Some time ago, many marathons in Japan were purely elite races. But this trend is declining sharply. Some of the former elite races have long been open to the entire crowd of runners. There are now several running events in Japan with five-digit participant numbers, led of course by the Tokyo Marathon.

The biggest running events in Japan

The Tokyo Marathon is a typical example of the development of popular running in Japan. For the first time the race was held in 1981. But at that time, only elite male runners were invited. It eventually took until 2007 for the Tokyo Marathon to be open to everyone. Within just a few years, a real boom arose around the marathon in the Japanese capital. More than 300,000 athletes now apply for the 30,000 starting places every year. This means that only one tenth of the registered runners actually receive a starting place. Only elite runners can count on a fixed starting place, or they can get one through the travel agencies. But even here, the tickets are usually used up very quickly.

The Tokyo Marathon is held at the end of February or beginning of March. It is the fastest marathon on Asian soil. A time under 2:04 hours has already been achieved in the men's race and under 2:20 hours in the women's race. This feat was achieved for the first time in 2017 by Wilson Kipsang (2:03:58 hours) in the men's race and Sarah Chepchirchir (2:19:47 hours) in the women's race.

The separation

Other well-known marathons in metropolises with millions of inhabitants are the Osaka Marathon, the Nagano Marathon and the Nagoya Marathon. The Nagoya race is a women-only marathon. For a long time, only top female runners were allowed to participate here, too, before amateur runners were allowed to start for the first time in 2012. There are now over 15,000 female marathon runners who take part in the race in Nagoya every year.

Men's only races were held at the Fukuoka and Lake Biwa marathons until recently. However, these were cancelled following the decline in interest in elite races.

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All Running Races in Japan (sorted by date) can be found in the following overview:

Running competitions 2022 in Japan

Shonan International Marathon

Icon Date | 09:00 Uhr
Icon Venue Shonan
Icon Competitions 42,2 km / 21,1 km / 10 km

Nagoya Marathon

Icon Date |
Icon Venue Nagoya
Icon Competitions 42,2 km / 21,1 km

Nagano Marathon

Icon Date | 08:30 Uhr
Icon Venue Nagano
Icon Competitions 42,2 km

Ueda Vertical Race

Icon Date | 08:00 Uhr
Icon Venue Shiojiri
Icon Competitions 25 km (3.000 Hm) / 18 km (2.000 Hm) / 3,7 km (700 Hm)

Mt. Awa Skyrace

Icon Date | 08:00 Uhr
Icon Venue Sanjō
Icon Competitions 33 km (2.400 Hm) / 20 km / 5,5 km (1.100 Hm) / 3 km

Fuji Mountain Race

Icon Date | 07:00 Uhr
Icon Venue Fujiyoshida
Icon Competitions 21 km (3.000 Hm) / 15 km (1.480 Hm)

Hokkaido Marathon

Icon Date | 08:30 Uhr
Icon Venue Sapporo
Icon Competitions 42,2 km / 12,1 km

Kobe Marathon

Icon Date | 09:00 Uhr
Icon Venue Kobe
Icon Competitions 42,2 km

Go to the running calendar Japan

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