The Tokyo Marathon will become the sixth event in the World Marathon Majors series, which gives out a $1 million annual prize purse to the world’s top distance runners.
The Toyko race joins marathons in Boston, New York, Chicago, London and Berlin the World Marathon Majors announced in an e-mailed release. The New York City Marathon, whose 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) course winds through five boroughs, is set for Nov. 4.
“The Japanese have a magnificent history and tradition in the marathon, and the Japanese people have long embraced the marathon and distance running in general,” Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association and Boston Marathon, said in a joint statement from the series’s race directors. “They are among the finest fans in the world for our sport.”
The Tokyo Marathon, scheduled for Feb. 24, will be the first race of the 2013-14 World Marathon Majors scoring period, according to the release. Athletes earn points by finishing in the top five in each race in the series during a two-year scoring window. The $1 million prize purse is split equally between the top male and female runners.
The Tokyo Marathon drew 95,044 applicants and 30,870 participants in its 2007 inaugural race, prior to which the Japanese capital held separate marathons for men and women. It has since grown to more than 300,000 applicants and almost 36,000 runners, according to the release.
Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai, who won the NYC Marathon last year, tops the 2011-12 men’s leaderboard with 75 points. Another Kenyan, Mary Keitany, is the top woman with 65 points.