2015 Tokyo Marathon

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Tokyo, Japan
February 22, 2015

Ethiopians Endeshaw Negesse and Birhane Dibaba got the Major marathon season underway with their first major wins as Stephen Kiprotich was a hero in second, Tariku Bekele bombed in his debut, Japanese twitter went nuts over the marathon, and Lauren Kleppin took a shot at greatness but bombed. We break it down.

A year ago a Geoffrey Mutai (2013 NY champ), Kebede (2013 London champ), Kiprotich (2013 World Champ) match-up would have been salivating. Now all 3 titans have something to prove against defending champ Dickson Chumba as Tariku Bekele makes his debut. In all, five sub-2:05 guys will toe the line on Sunday morning (Saturday night in U.S.).

Tiki Gelana hasn't run a good marathon since her 2012 Olympic victory but has an excellent shot to resurrect her career in this less than stellar field. 2014 runner-up Birhane Dibaba (2:22:30 pb) and 2014 Paris/Commonwealth champ Flomena Cheyech Daniel of Kenya (2:22:44) should provide some competition, as will debutante Selly Chepyego (bronze at World Half Champs). American 2:28er Lauren Kleppin is basically guaranteed her first career top 10 showing at a major in this small 10-woman elite field.

 

Abbott World Marathon Majors Unveils New One-Year Race Series Format To Debut At Tokyo

The series will now go from Tokyo 2015 to Tokyo 2016, then Boston 2016 to Boston 2017. The $500,000 prize will be paid out in $100,000 yearly increments out of doping concerns. Plus the series is funding new blood testing all across the globe including Africa to insure all of the top marathoners are clean.

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