The Tokyo Marathon has notoriously strict cutoff times. It was reported b participants that ‘hundreds of runners’ were prevented from continuing the race after the 10 kilometer cutoff.
The race started at 9:10 AM. The last runners started more than 20 minutes after the gun. While the cutoff times are harsh, and do not represent a consistent pace, they should not have come as a surprise to the participants.
The runner captured at the end of this video was caught off guard and was particularly irate.
While I can empathize with the man’s frustration, his reaction towards the volunteers cannot be justified. This could have been avoided had he spent 30 minutes looking through The Runner’s Handbook.
Through social media, he explained that he stopped to use the restroom, causing him to miss the 11:00 am cutoff.
“As I reached mile 6, I headed to the line that had at least 500 people waiting to take a potty break. 30 minutes later, I headed to the 10k mark to find that the Tokyo Marathon official had closed the race stating it was the rules we did not make the time allocated to reach the 10k mark…”
“…my race was interrupted by unknown rules that were never publicly presented.”
“It was all in the fine print of the registration form they would have cut off times, what they didn’t tell you was you got no credit for Potty Breaks!!!”
Not exactly true. The cutoff times were clearly printed in the Runner’s Handbook. It wasn’t fine print. It was clear that it did not matter what time you crossed the starting line, or whether you stopped for a “Potty Break”.
As it turns out, the man did manage to return to the course, likely cutting approximately 20 kilometers off of the course.
“I Found a Way to get back on the course, but that did not get me the results I was looking for as to qualifying the Tokyo Marathon”
After being cut at the 10km point, his next timing split registered at 30k. He registered a finishing time of 3:28:58 before being removed from the results. It is apparent that he crossed the street at around the point where he was stopped, cutting off nearly 20km from the course.
This is a perfect example of why runners need to be aware of the rules. The cutoff times were not a secret.
“I felt like it was 1942 all over again and at some point you got to stand up and fight for what you believe is important to you”
“It’s just the American way finding a solution under all circumstances and then finishing what you started out to do.”
This runner was not singled out. He was in the same exact position as all those other runners that missed the cutoff. He deserved no special consideration as an American. The Tokyo Marathon is strict with their rules, and they do not make exceptions.
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