Active Travel



Why I’m NOT running the Tokyo Marathon

Dec 21, 2016 | Running, Uncategorized | 12 comments

Zalando Running Kit

Waking up at 4am with jet lag, I know I shouldn’t check my phone. The blue light will wake me even more and I’m likely to get swallowed into an internet rabbit hole.

But I do anyway, looking through Instagram, Facebook stalking and scrolling through my emails when I see a message about the Tokyo marathon.

I alluded to some issues with my entry a few weeks ago, which resulted in my bib being cancelled due to payment problems but assumed since it was the title sponsor sorting out my place, it would all be fine. Turns out the Japanese won’t budge though and despite their best efforts from the sponsor and PR team, my entry has been revoked.

Zalando Running Kit

To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I’ve been training hard, with early mornings- 5am speed workouts, late treadmill sessions. I’ve been looking forward to running in Tokyo since 2015 when I first submitted my ballot application and to have it taken away with only 2 months until race day is gutting. Not to mention the fact that my parents and I had flights and accommodation booked, plans were in place and Tom had taken leave from work.

However, what’s done is done.

I was debating still going to Japan, however I think it would be too upsetting having to watch a race I’ve trained for and not be able to run it. I’ve also got a uni hand in that week so I’m trying to think of it as all happening for a reason.

Zalando Running Kit

The sponsor has promised that I’ll have a bib for the 2018 race, but in the meantime I need a new goal and focus. I would LOVE to run the Boston marathon this year to enable me to fulfil my dream of running the majors before I’m 30 but I know this is unlikely. So it seems like the new race plan for London is going to be to run my heart out…

All kit in this post is from a selection at Zalando 

Photography by Will Patrick


  1. Lauren

    I’m SO sorry to hear this. You’d been putting in so much work and deserved to be able to show it on race day. But just because the actual race might not be happening, it doesn’t take away all the hard work and determination you’ve been putting in. The training that you’ve put in will ultimately make you a better runner regardless. Keep your head up, like you said I’m sure this has happened for a reason 🙂 have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. adarling575

    Oh I’m so sorry, that’s rubbish. I can completely understand how frustrating it is and for something completely out of your hands – I would be so angry!!

  3. Gabrielle

    Oh that really sucks, Charlie! I am going through something a little similar – I am supposed to start Paris Marathon training this week but my IT-band is still injured (was counting on it being healed by now), so instead I think I’ll be taking a month or two off and will have to say goodbye to my marathon entry. I’m pretty upset about it. Great that you have London to look forward to as a backup!

  4. W, Purves

    Very disappointing for you but not the end of the world.
    Your life is already overcrowded so there may be some blessings.
    Enjoy New Zealand.
    Love, G.

  5. gh12ra

    Is the rotterdam marathon an option? It is 9th april

  6. Missyblurkit

    Totally understand the feeling. Had the same for one of the world majors too…a greater disappointment as I had DNS another race earlier because of an injury and certainly looked forward to at least one FM this year. Just have to be patient and wait till the next race.

  7. Laura @ Laura : Fat 2 Fit

    So sorry to hear this Charlie, that sucks! Im sure you’ll absolutely rock it in 2018 though! Awesome that you have London to look forward to though! Good Luck with the training, You’ll do great!

    Have a wonderful Christmas! x

  8. AnnaTheApple

    Ah sorry to here this 🙁 But like you said, you can focus on London and do Tokyo next year. Keep positive!

  9. Heidi

    I understand that you are disappointed but you have so many opportunities that others can only dream of, so look on the bright side. You can run next year (yay) and it’s not really a hardship to have one less overseas holiday than planned when most people consider this a luxury. Concentrate on London & count yourself lucky for all the other wonderful things in your life.

  10. Timea

    That sucks, Charlie. You know what I would do? Still go to Japan and do a long run on my own terms, somewhere really beautiful. Maybe team up with a local running club or something who know the best routes.

  11. Archie in Brussels

    Really sorry to hear, how disappointing. I had to pull out of the Berlin marathon earlier this year as I was moving countries, and realised it was just too much to cope with. I found it really hard, but at least the decision was my own; it must be really hard to have it taken away from you.

    I’m sure you’ll find a super exciting new challenge.

  12. Bal sandhu

    Gutted for you x


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