As one of the Pre-Race Festa event in the Tokyo Marathon 2017, the Tokyo Marathon Friendship Run 2017 was held on Saturday morning February 25. With the overhaul of the Tokyo Marathon course this year, the Friendship Run no longer run through the same finish line as the marathon, but with friendly cheering from the spectators, the runners were able to complete the course in great spirit. The total of approximately 1300 runners both locally and from abroad participated in this event. The highest number of runners came from Hong Kong, while the second largest number of runners were Americans.
In the opening act that began at 10:20AM, Jazz Dance group "Reika" danced to the tune of "Yosakoi." Five minutes later at 10:25AM, the opening ceremony started. After the opening address by Tad Hayano, Tokyo Marathon race director, he introduced the staff of Abbott as well as the staff from other Abbott World Marathon Majors races.
In the spectators` area of the Pre-Race Festa, runners from all over the world mingled with other runners regardless of their national origin. They posed for the photos together also. After the traditional warm-up following "Radio Exercise" five groups of runners started the run. The group A was started by Koji Sakurai, the president/CEO of Tokyo Marathon Foundation. They were followed by group B, C, D and E in succession with approximately five minutes interval between the waves.