Tokyo Marathon Live Blog: The day before

It’s been a fun couple of days since I arrived in Tokyo Wednesday evening, highlighted by my self-guided tour around the city yesterday afternoon in advance of the 2012 Tokyo Marathon Symposium that the members of the press tour attended Thursday evening.

Representatives from three of the world major marathons — New York, London and Berlin — spoke in great detail about the recent explosion in popularity of running in general and marathons in particular, looking ahead to what challenges face the major marathons and what goals the sport as a whole has in mind going forward. Tokyo, with 35,000 runners selected from more than 300,000 applicants, hopes to join the list of major marathons in the coming years. This will be the sixth annual race, and the organizers hope it will be the best yet.

I’m about to head out into the rain for the start of the International Friendship Run, a 2K fun run set up for international runners the day before the race. Then it’s off to the course for a preview of the race and then to the expo to pick up my race gear. I hope to check in later this evening with more details prior to the race tomorrow morning (or Saturday evening at 7:00 pm EST, to those following along at home).