2 Dec

Taking on Tokyo

Shona ThomsonOur regular running contributor, Shona Thomson, is on a mission to complete the six marathon majors. She recently returned from Chicago where she undertook the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with Sports Tours International. 

Although Shona had a pretty tough race personally, she found the atmosphere amazing and the trip organisation was great. In late February 2016, Shona will head to Tokyo with Sports Tours International to run the Tokyo Marathon. We chatted with Shona to find out a little more about her thoughts and expectations.
What attracted you to Tokyo marathon?
I'm working towards ticking off the World Marathon Majors. I've done New York, London and Chicago so I'm half way! I've been to Tokyo as a student and it is an amazing place. The marathon takes in plenty of incredible sights. It starts at the Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku and ends at the Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba, passing the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower, Asakusa and GinzaIt. 
What is it you enjoy about running international marathons?
There are so many things! Firstly, if you're going to suffer, it's more fun to do it in an amazing location. Secondly, I enjoy meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. Tokyo will provide to shortage of excitement as each of Tokyo’s wards differs from the next, from Shibuya’s neon lights to Taito’s traditional temples. There are so many dimensions to the city, and hopefully the marathon.
How is the training going?
The training for Tokyo has started! It is going to be a little more complicated than usual. After Chicago, I took a bit of time to do shorter runs before starting the mileage build up over the winter. I'll be doing a marathon in Mongolia in late January. However, I'll be treating that as a long training run so hopefully I'll be fully recovered and ready for Tokyo a few weeks later.
What are you most excited about? 
I'm really excited to partner with the amazing team at Sports Tours International again. They take the stress out of running international races by sorting out all the logistics from flights to hotels, as well as providing great race support. I'm also really excited to experience the atmosphere of another World Marathon Major against the backdrop of one of the most spectacular cities on earth.
When do you fly out? 
Tokyo Marathon takes place on 28 February 2016. I fly out on 24 February and return on Monday 29 February. We'll be staying at the Keio Plaza Hotel, very close to the start line. 
What tips would you give to someone running their first overseas event?
Do it! I can't think of a better use of holiday than to run an overseas event. It's a fantastic way to see a new location. If you're not ready for a full marathon, there are plenty half marathon options available. I'd also book with a specialist company, such as Sports Tours International. They take care of all logistical planning, leaving you to focus on enjoying your run. They’ll also make sure the hotel location is within easy reach of the start and finish, something which is priceless!
For information on travel packages for Tokyo Marathon, visit the Sports Tours International website.