Planning for Tokyo

The lottery results for the 2016 Tokyo Marathon were announced this week. I was not selected. But Scot was. This means we had to make a decision. And now I'm registered too, as a charity runner. The charity program works differently than the charity programs for marathons in the US. Instead of being provided with a fundraising site where donors can make individual donations directly to the charity, I had to donate ¥10,000 up front, in addition to my marathon registration fee. This converts to about $850 for the charity. The charity I chose is Discover Tomorrow Tohoku and it benefits the victims of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami by providing educational opportunities to victims. Not much information is available on English language websites. Here is a poorly translated (by Google) screen shot of the charity logo and description.

Not a perfect Google translation, but you get the point

You are probably aware of the nuclear accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which were a direct result of this earthquake. When I first visited Japan in 2001, I stayed in the city of Fukushima, so this charity is one that I can relate to on a more personal level than the others. 

View of Fukushima from Mount Shinobu in 2001

Mount Shinobu in 2001

When I was in Japan I flew into and out of Tokyo, but I never saw any of the city besides the airport and the train station. This will be an opportunity to see Tokyo itself. And Scot has told me that he's had a fascination with Japan since the 6th grade, so we'll make the most of our trip, even if we aren't able to stay long. The duration of our trip will depend upon finances and flights. We will most likely use frequent flyer miles, so that may lock us into certain dates. It's too early to know all the details, including whether we'll be able to do any exploration outside of Tokyo. But I'm excited!

In Kyoto in 2001; this is a Tanuki, or a badger, sometimes seen outside pubs

Tokyo Marathon will be the 3rd out of 6 World Marathon Majors for both Scot and me. We've already run the Chicago Marathon, and we're scheduled to run the Berlin Marathon in less than two weeks. Now we're entered into Tokyo. We will find out about the 2016 London Marathon lottery results next month. And we will apply again for the New York City Marathon lottery when it opens (we keep being rejected). The 6th one is the Boston Marathon, which we are not even thinking about right now. In order to qualify by time, we'd both need to do some serious training. Or we could do charity. That's something to worry about another year.

If you would be interested in helping me to support my Tokyo Marathon charity, I would be grateful. I cannot offer tax-deductible receipts or a secure payment directly to the charity. I can offer thanks and recognition in a future blog post, and if you provide your mailing address I promise you a postcard from Tokyo. You can donate via my PayPal account, or mail a check. If you send me a personal message or post a comment with your email address, I'll give you the information you need. To be clear: I am not collecting funds to finance my travel, only to meet my charity commitment. Therefore, I will not accept any more donations if and when $850 is reached. Arrigato Gozaimasu, friends!


  1. If you're able to eventually get into London and New York, you should do Boston too. Yes, ideally, it would be nice to qualify by time. If you can't, you should still do it through a charity. It's an experience you don't want to miss, regardless of how you get there.

  2. Yes, absolutely, for Boston. The others are a priority for now. Then maybe when I move up an age group or two I can seriously consider training to qualify for Boston. If not, I'm not opposed to going the charity route.


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