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The ups and downs of the Tokyo marathon. Why almost 30% of runners dropped out

The type of climate prevailing in Tokyo is a humid temperate one. For the latter, the combination of a temperature over 30℃ and humidity levels over 80 % peaking in July and August is very significant. The effect on the human body: loss of  fluids and increase in salt levels, the heart rate rises and working efficiency falls.

For runners this is easily multiplied. For example, the body surface temperature of a marathon runner can reach up to 40℃. You can imagine that any error in energy distribution through eating or drinking can become fatal. All it takes to induce cramps, heat stroke or even loss of consciousness is to exceed the tempo, skip a feeding station or simply lose an ice cap. During the Tokyo marathon there were plenty of runners who made such mistakes.

Here are the most memorable ones from past marathons.

TOP 3 losers:

🔹The 2012 London Olympic Champion and 2013 Moscow world champion Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda, 32)  dropped out of the race after 10 km amid stomach issues which is a symptom of overheating.

🔹2019 world marathon champion Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia, 31) dropped out of the race after 27 km from physical exhaustion.

🔹Do Nascimento (Brasil, 23) was running among the leader group for 26 km until he ended up on the ground with a heat stroke. (Or did he burn out in the spotlight of Kipchoge’s star?)

TOP 3 winners:

🔹Abdi Nageeye (Somali-born Dutch runner) did not have any major victories at international level before Tokyo, yet he managed to beat the Kenian runner Chirono at the finishing sprint to cut and finish second right after Kipchoge, whilst physically dragging his friend Abdi to third place.

🔹Another Somali-born Belgian runner Bashir Abdi, the 5000m and 10000m running guru, hardly expected to see himself finishing third and winning a bronze medal in Tokyo. Moreover , he had been suffering from leg cramps during the last 3 km. It seems however as though his friendship with Nageeye (they have been friends since Somlai times) gave him superpowers in the last 200 m. Friends managed to win the sprint cut against Chirono who was running in second place.

🔹Suguru Osako, a Japanese runner who is holder of the national marathon record, was able to cope with some physical problems in the second half of the distance, heroically overtaking several competitors to finish 6th place. Huge respect!

Overall, the Tokyo marathon turned out to be action-packed. For the spectators, these 2 hours ran like an exciting drama - although we don’t envy the runners!

Train with OMY! SPorts and rest assured that heroic wins are already in the bag!🥇