The Tokyo marathon is one of the greatest long distance events in the world and the best runners in the world target this one as the main event they want to win. All the current top marathon specialists will look to get their preparation in early to be able to compete in this event.

Take a look at recent winners of the Tokyo marathon and we have a back-to-back winner, who will look to win a hat-trick in 2021. Birhanu Legese won both the 2019 and 2020 Toyo marathons and looking deeper in the quality of Legese, he is an Ethiopean long-distance runner who is 26 years old and works with Trainer Jos Hermens.

Birhanu Legese won the 2019 Tokyo marathon in a time of 2 hours, 4 minutes and 48 seconds and then in 2020 he successfully defended his crown winning in 2 hours minutes and 15 seconds, so beating his time by 33 seconds, in what is a remarkable achievement.

Looking at his personal best time, this came in 2019, when he finished 2nd in Berlin, Germany, where he ran the marathon in a time of 2 hours, 2 minutes and 48 seconds, a full 2 minutes quicker than his time in Tokyo. 

Another duel winner of the race was Dickson Chumba who won the Tokyo marathon in 2014 and 2018. He has competed in many marathons and has a superb record in them. As well as winning the Tokyo marathon twice, he has also won the Chicago marathon in 2015 and then in three consecutive years finished 3rd in the Tokyo marathon between 2015-2017. Then in Chicago he finished 2nd in 2016 and 3rd in 2014. This is one of the superb consistent long distance runners. Unlike Legese, Chumba was born in Kenya and he has a personal best time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 30 seconds, so not as good as Legese, however, his best times were able to win him a few marathons. 

Some of the betting sites including Sportsbookreview will cover odds on marathons throughout the calendar year and especially the highest profile ones which include Tokyo, which is one of the elite events in the year.

Another superb long distance runner to mention is Wilson Kipsang. He won the Tokyo marathon in 2017 as well as having a superb career with this running which also included many other successes. He won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London and repeated that win in the 2012 London marathon. Kipsang then went on to repeat this success in 2014 and also won the Berlin marathon in 2013 in between these London wins. Finally for Kipsang, he won the New York marathon in 2014 which completed a set of awesome performances in long distance running. 

Wilson Kipsang also resides in Kenya and has a personal marathon best of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 13 seconds which he achieved in Berlin, Germany in 2016, a year, when he actually didn’t win the event.  Kipsang is now in his late 30’s and still competing in the elite events but he is not as quick as he was and the younger athletes are beating him to the win. 

As the years have progressed, the personal bests of runners have improved and even the best runners in the early 2010s are seeing their record times being beaten which was shown by Birhanu Legese who recorded a time of 2 hours and 2 minutes in the past few years. 

When looking at betting for the marathons, there are usually a few favourites who will battle it out for the gold medal, so unlike other sports betting events, it is unlikely that an outsider will go onto win a race, unless they are a young newcomer. The main reason is that as this is time based, you will rarely see a personal best be beaten by a big record.

Looking forward to the next Tokyo marathon, many sportsbooks will cover the odds on this, so make sure you check this out as the top runners in the world will be at the head of the market.