Marathon Gives Tokyo Warmup for 2020 Olympics

(ATR) The marathon was held under tight security in light of terrorist threats to Japan.

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(ATR) Heightened police presence was not an issue during the 2015 Tokyo Marathon.

Over 36,000 participants took part in the annual race on Feb. 22 amid heightened security measures after two Japanese hostages were killed by ISIS in January.

Sixty-four police officers with marathon experience were equipped with cameras, cellphones and riot gear and ran among the runners. Each officer bore a white police vest and patrolled a specific segment of the race.

"If police are there among the runners they may be able to see things more quickly, and runners will be able to take part in the race with a feeling of security," a police spokesman told Reuters earlier this month.

Additionally, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation increased the number of guards to 6,000 and installed 60 metal detectors and 21 surveillance cameras throughout the race.

This is the first time the capital has taken such steps to strengthen security at the Tokyo Marathon. The efforts are part of Tokyo's preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Ethiopian runners Endeshaw Negesse and Berhane Dibaba took top honors in the men's and women's categories, respectively.

Tokyo 2020 international media director Masa Takaya finished the marathon in 3 hours, 16 minutes, and 21 seconds.

Written by Andrew Murrell

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