The marathon also serves as a world championships team selection race for Japanese women.
The upcoming Yokohama Marathon is a race of large consequences for Japanese women runners hoping to run in the 2014 World Championships in Moscow.
An IAAF Silver Label Race, Yokohama boasts three top Japanese women competitors: Yukiko Akaba, Remi Nakazato, and Mai Ito.
Of these three, Akaba has the fastest PR with a 2:24:09.
Japanese runners aside, the top elite is Kenya’s Lydia Cheromei, who ran a 2:21 personal best in Dubai. The second-seeded athlete Marisa Barros has a 2:25 best that she clocked last year in Yokohama. Lithuania’s Zivile Balciunaite, who is also a 2:25 marathoner is the third-fastest competitor.
Three Americans are expected to compete for the win: Amy Hastings, Serena Burla, and Adriana Nelson. All of these runners are coming to Yokohama thanks to the cancellation of the New York City Marathon earlier this month. Hastings, who missed out on the U.S. Olympic marathon squad by one position, is hoping to PR in Japan. New Zealand’s Kim Smith, who was also slated to run New York, will also contend for the win.
For More: IAAF