On Sunday, thousands of runners from across the world competed in the Tokyo Marathon in, I’m guessing, Japan, and the big winner was Ethiopia’s Hailu Mekonnen, who finished in first place and strengthened my belief that people from Africa are good runners. Perhaps the bigger story, though, was Japan’s own Yuki Kawauchi, who finished third, which many consider a remarkable feat for an amateur runner. Or maybe the even bigger story was Britain's Joseph Tame, who attached four iPhones to his quirky running attire and streamed his entire marathon effort on the Internet to raise money for the Tyler Foundation, a children’s cancer organization in Japan.
Heck, the biggest story was probably Edison Pena, one of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days last October, finishing his second major marathon since the famous ordeal. Pena also ran in the New York marathon only a month after his rescue. In the Tokyo race, he shaved a half hour off his time. And I’m sure there were many, many more runners, each with their own awesome stories.
But it’s really hard to judge so many runners and choose the best story or the bravest performance or even the most inspirational tale. Thankfully, it’s Japan and a bunch of people showed up dressed in really strange costumes. I was disappointed by the lack of creepy old men dressed as school girls, but who am I to be picky? After the jump, you guessed it… wacky Japanese costume slideshow time, courtesy of the 2011 Tokyo Marathon.