OMG. I’ve done it, signed up for the Tokyo Marathon
It wasn’t easy, the whole system was really slow, kept freezing and wasn’t straight forward, but I done it. But let’s go back to the beginning.
Since last year unsuccessful lottery drawing, I managed to save up the charity + entry fee. I really wanted to go with the guaranteed place, didn’t want to risk it with the lottery.
I think it was about a week ago when Tokyo announced more details about the marathon. It has been confirmed that the day is the 3rd of March 2019. They have confirmed that the charity registration opens on the 2nd of July 2018 at 10am local time ( 2am UK time ). Also their website stated that they only accepting Credit cards – Visa , MasterCard or American Express. I was really surprised by this because not everyone owns a Credit card.
Number of charity runner positions are available : 5,000 , first-come-first-served basis
On Saturday I went into my local Loyd’s Branch to advise them about the international payment. I really didn’t want to get blocked out of my account, because I knew every minute can count.
Also I’ve found a really good race review by Emma , https://lattesandrunways.com/tokyo-marathon-race-review-2018/ She mentioned it that they had to enter their passport number during the registration! Then I’ve spent the next 1hour trying to find my passport…. But at the end I found it.
I’ve set my alarm for 1.30am on the 2nd of July. I’m not going to lie it was really hard to wake up.
The website I had to register was this one. Luckily it went online bang on at 2am.
I really thought I’m in luck with it. Well I was really wrong. Not too sure why but their registration process is way too complicated.
Multiple steps all the way through, and the website kept crashing, crashing and crashing.
So the first step was to pick whichever charity we’d wanted to run for and fill out some personal details. This was the easy part.
The charity I've chosen is : Pace Winds Japan - Development of protection and transfer activities to save dogs' lives, as well as training for disaster relief and therapy dogs.
As most of you know I love animals, specially dogs. I’m already raising money for a Chicago charity, and they help out and shelter homeless dogs and cats. So it was a really easy choice for me to pick this charity.
After filling out the form, I’ve received an email asking me to log in and pay the donation for the charity. Without paying the fee ( 100 000 yen) I won’t be able to buy my race entry fee ( 12 800 yen). So it means I had to pay the money in advance, and if I would have wanted raise money from friends and family, their money would have reimburse me. Whilst in London you have a fundraising page for months, and you get people to pay in there for you. Tokyo wants the money first, so it was totally confusing .
When it asked me about the donation fee the website only offered to choose from : Credit card – Visa, MasterCard, American Express. Absolutely no option for a Debit card. It made me really worried but I thought I’ll give it a go. Turns out it did work, and they do accept DEBIT cards as well.
To do this step I had multiple challenges. Website kept crashing, my bank card got blocked. Even though I advised Lloyd’s about the charge. So to do this step I think I was refreshing the page for about 40 minutes, whilst on the phone to Lloyd’s, to get my bank account unlocked….
Finally when I was able to pay the 100 000 yen , I’ve received another email confirming this, and advising me that if I want to run the race log back onto the site and sign up as a charity runner.
So back to the website again. By this time I could not even refresh, I’ve got a 502 Bad Gateway error straight away.
By this point I really wanted to cry. How hard can it be to spend money? Ooohh it’s not easy, Tokyo made me work for it lol.
When I finally managed to log back on, I had to fill out more forms. More personal details ( full name, address, emergency contact, birthday, nationality, t-shirt size ). After all of this and reading through hundreds of different terms and conditions, I got to the payment part again. I told Llod’s that I need to make another payment so do not block my account again. Well luckily this time they did listen. My race registration fee ( 12 800 yen ) went through without any issues.
I have to say this was the most complicated and hardest registration I ever done. If you compare it with my 1 minute Boston ITP registration, this was terrible.
Today I’ve already requested my holidays from work ( Tokyo and Boston ), it’s on a first come first get basis. So I think I should be okay haha.
We going to Tokyo on the 23rd of February, land in Tokyo and then take a bullet train to Osaka. Could fly to Osaka straight away, but c’mon I’m a railway person, need to sit on the bullet train haha. I know roughly what will we do, but I save that for another post. Hotels are also booked via booking.com, now just need to buy our airfare. Will write another post about those as well.
So Tokyo will be my 5th Major, which only can mean 1 thing. I will be a 6 star finisher in Boston 2019. That’s the most iconic race in the world and I feel privileged to run there and get my special medal.
Last year after London I had no idea about Abbot and the WMM races, and fast forward 1 year I’m now planning to finish it. Wow.
What else can beat this? What can I do after I completed the series? Well to be honest I already have my Ironman booked in for July 2019, so I’m free after that. Suggestions are welcome 🙂