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Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building on a sunny morning of the Tokyo Marathon, Feb. 17, 2008.
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Before the start of the marathon, runners and wheelchair racers warm up in front of the start line.
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Before the start of the marathon, runners and wheelchair racers warm up in front of the start line.
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Runners and wheelchair racers warm up in front of the start line.
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No entry beyond this point. The entire area around the government buildings was restricted and only runners and staff could enter. This is the closest we could get to the start line.
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Crowd near the start line. The lookout deck in nearby skyscrapers like the triangular Sumitomo building was also closed to the public.
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Tokyo Marathon start line in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
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First, the wheelchair race started at 9:05 am.
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Then the Tokyo Marathon started at 9:10 am. Also see my video at YouTube.
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Here come the runners. On the lower left of the picture, you can see Victor Rothlin of Switzerland (dressed in black) who won the marathon in 2 hours 7 min. 23 sec.
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Here they come, over 30,000 of them.
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The deluge of runners continued for about 20 min.
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Everyone was thankful for the sunny, blue-sky weather, unlike last year's awful rain.
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It's unfortunate that ordinary people cannot get a better view of the starting line.
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Nippon Ganbare! The runners looked really happy, many were smiling or laughing with joy. If I were running, I would be grimacing and in pain after about 10 min.
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Taxi driver from New York?
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The runners got sparse at the end of the line.
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Now in Yurakucho, near Ginza.
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"Due to the Tokyo Marathon, you cannot cross the road. Use the underground pasage."
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Yurakucho, looking toward Hibiya Park.
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A little over an hour has passed.
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The mass media trucks.
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The leading pack reach the halfway point.
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Many in the leading pack were African.
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They sure ran fast. They just whizzed by.
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21 km point in Yurakucho.
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Road near Imperial Palace.
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Yoda
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Tiger
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Somehow a samurai outfit does not match jogging sneakers.
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I agree with her costume. Anybody running (and completing) a marathon is Super.
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What is she?
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Chinaman's hat
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The Blue (or Blues?) Brothers
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Iwaida-bashi Bridge over the Imperial Palace moat, next to Hibiya Park.
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Iwaida-bashi Bridge over the Imperial Palace moat, exiting the Imperial Palace
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Imperial Palace
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Women in happi coats labeled with "Tokushima University" and "Honolulu Marathon." Perhaps they ran in the Honolulu Marathon (held in Dec.) as well.
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Imperial Palace
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Smile for the camera!!
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Country hick
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Now in Shinagawa, at the U-turn.
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Shinagawa U-turn (15 km point)
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Also see my video at YouTube.
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Cameras were also at the Shinagawa U-turn where some runners posed.
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From Shinagawa, they head to Ginza.
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Banner
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Meanwhile, at Tokyo Big Sight, a marathon festival was taking place. Numerous food stalls and entertainment.
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Chinese dragon dance
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Balloon man
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Jazz group
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Ethnic booth (Afghanistan)
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Try riding on a racing wheelchair.
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Wheelchairs
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Ariake Station
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Passing by Tokyo Big Sight, the finish.
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Almost there...
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Posing for the camera.
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For this marathon, I concentrated on shooting these great costumed runners.
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Rabbit ears were popular among women at the Tokyo Marathon 2008
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"Today's my birthday" is written on her sash.
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Pikachu
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Muscular maid at Tokyo Marathon 2008
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She wasn't the only one in a maid costume.
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Can't figure out this one.
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Middle-age cuteness
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Another bunny
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This guy must be from Hawaii...
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Colorful and cheerful. Many runners were still smiling and laughing. They were having fun.
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Wish I got a clearer shot of this cute Minnie Mouse.
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Whale or fish
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Horse
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Cute maid who knows how to smile for the camera.
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Tomo
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Hula dancer? Not from Hawaii though.
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Tiger head
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Tokyo Tower
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Bridesmaid? Gosh, she's carrying a handbag.
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What is it?
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Higashi Kokubaru, Governor of Miyazaki Prefecture running in Tokyo Marathon 2008
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Higashi Kokubaru, Governor of Miyazaki Prefecture. The only celebrity I was able to recognize.
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Mikoshi portable shrine. Probably a shrine priest.
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Daisy Duck
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What character is this?
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Devil
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What would a marathon be without a cow costume? Her sash says "Let's drink milk." It's true that milk consumption in Japan has been decreasing. Dunno why. One of my favorite drinks. (I have strong bones.)
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Highway cone
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Spiderman. Can he actually see through the mask?
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Approaching the finish line.
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Bleachers at the finish line. (Open to the public.)
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View from finish line bleachers.
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The bleachers were crowded with people. Unlike last year when it was raining and few people was here.
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Music entertainment also provided by high school bands.
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Road to finish line
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Goal in sight. Runners had to cross the finish line by 4:10 pm. The vast majority did so.
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The finish line. Unlike last year, we could not approach the finish line and see the runners crossing it up close. Also see my video at YouTube.
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After the marathon, the runners enter Tokyo Big Sight and change clothing.
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Inside Tokyo Big Sight, an endless stream of runners walk past a crowd looking for their friend or relative.
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There is a meeting place inside Tokyo Big Sight. Most marathons use a large park for runners to gather after the race. But Tokyo Big Sight is used for the Tokyo Marathon because it is indoors and unaffected by the weather. It's also warm inside.
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Runners and their relatives/friends leave Tokyo Big Sight. Ahead is the marathon festival site.
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Goodbye Tokyo Big Sight. Also see photos of the 2007 Tokyo Marathon.
     
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