The men’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics saw 28% of runners drop out, while in the women’s race only 15%.

The Olympic marathon running in Sapporo Park has the participation of 98 female and 106 male athletes, taking place in 2 days. All towards the prestigious gold medal. However, the weather conditions are not ideal when the temperature is up to 35 degrees Celsius and 85% humidity, along with fierce competition that makes many DNF (did not finish) – not complete the goal.

Specifically, in the women’s track, 15 DNF athletes, out of a total of 98 people. A day later, 30 DNF runners were on the men’s track. Among them are three favorite runners from Ethiopia, Shura Kitata – 2020 London Marathon champion, Leslisa Desisa – 2019 world champion and Sisay Lemma.

Male athletes compete on 8/8.  Photo: AFP.

Male athletes compete on 8/8. Photo: AFP.

It’s worth noting that all of the DNF cases were not entirely due to weather problems. They mainly have problems with injuries and the rigors of having to compete with the top athletes in the world.

According to statistics from the Organizing Committee, the Sapporo marathon saw the highest number of DNF runners since the 1912 Olympics in Stokholm, where up to half gave up due to hot weather.

What happened in Sapporo is somewhat similar to the 2019 world marathon championship in Doha, Qatar. The athletes had to start at 4 a.m. to avoid the Gulf heat. The temperature at that time reached 30 degrees Celsius, with 90% humidity. Lyndsay Tessier, a Canadian runner who finished in the top 10, said such weather conditions made him run 15 to 20 seconds per kilometer slower than planned. This race also saw 18 of 73 men and 28 of 68 women DNF.

Across the board at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Boston Marathon from 2017 to 2019, both races had average completion rates of at least 95%, with both men and women. But the proportion of DNF men is still higher than female because 55 to 60% of the participants are male.

London, Berlin or New York Marathon also have similar statistics as Boston Marathon. In 2019 alone, the New York Marathon set the highest percentage of eligible runners, up to 99% of the 54,217 participants.

Thanh Duong (follow Running Magazine)

VnExpress is organizing marathons in Hanoi, Nha Trang, Ha Long and Quy Nhon. Interested athletes can visit here.


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