It was a dark time for the Japans first-ever marathon.
But a decade on, it’s still something of a running cult favourite.
The world’s fastest marathon is the first time the country has been able to set foot on the marathons route and for many runners, it feels like their whole world has changed.
What started as a mere training challenge has become something that encompasses everything from socialising to running.
The sport is now one of the biggest industries in the world, with runners earning $5.5 billion annually.
With the world’s biggest marathon being held in 2019, we’re looking at a golden age for the sport in Japan.
But is it possible to live a healthier lifestyle in this new, prosperous country?
Let’s take a look.