Chasing Dreams: Inside the Incredible Feat of Luc Lapensée's Major Marathon Quest

My journey to the Tokyo Marathon began well before race day, with thirteen days spent immersing myself in the vibrant culture of Japan. Exploring Tokyo for the initial four days, followed by five days in Kyoto with a memorable day trip to Hiroshima, laid the foundation for an unforgettable experience. Finally, I returned to Tokyo, where the anticipation for the marathon bubbled to its peak over the last five days.


Race Day Weather Conditions
The morning of the race greeted us with chilly temperatures, a mere 3 degrees at the start line, gradually warming up to 9 degrees by the time we crossed the finish. With minimal wind and clear skies, the weather proved to be ideal for the challenge ahead.


Navigating the logistics of the race day was efficiently organized, though a rarity of toilets in the corral added an unexpected challenge. Despite this hiccup, strategic pit stops at kilometres 5 and 25 ensured a smooth flow to the race.

Corral Placement and Course Challenges

Securing a spot in Coral C proved favourable, offering proximity to the starting line and an advantageous position for gun time ranking. The course itself, while largely flat with rolling hills, posed its own set of challenges: surrounded by a multitude of fellow runners, narrow pathways and frequent hairpin turns demanded constant vigilance as I witnessed some bad falls and major bumping. Maneuvering through the dense crowd proved arduous, particularly in the early stages, with few overtaking opportunities until km 25.

Nutrition and Hydration

Navigating race day nutrition was tricky, especially after an unexpected allergic reaction to kiwi the day before. Despite this setback, I focused on staying hydrated and making careful food choices to perform my best. On race morning, I stuck with my usual oatmeal and banana routine. During the race, we couldn't bring our own water bottles into the starting area, but there were plenty of water stations offering electrolyte drinks like Pocari Sweat along the course. And finally, the usual Maurten Gels every 40 minutes provided more than enough fuel for this race.

Race Highlights

Crossing the finish line of the Tokyo Marathon marked the high point of an incredible journey, completing the sixth and final leg of the Abbott World Marathon Majors. Placing 4956th out of 38,000 participants with a time of 3h27:10 was a testament to months of dedicated training and constant determination. Special thanks are due to my friend, Pascal Bessette, whose friendship and support added immeasurable joy to the experience. Together, we captured cherished memories and revelled in the beauty of Tokyo's streets. He inspired me to start running, and I deeply salute him.


No marathon endeavor is accomplished in isolation, and I am deeply grateful for the ongoing support of my network. Heartfelt thanks are extended to Renée Leblanc of Moveo Sports and Manual Physiotherapy, Julia Aimers, Coach of Team Triumph, my running partner Alain Rodrigue, and my beloved Familia for their encouragement and guidance. A special tribute is reserved for my lovely partner-in-crime and best friend, my wife Marie, whose persistent support fueled my every stride.

In summary, the Tokyo Marathon wasn't just a race. It was a life-changing experience filled with teamwork, victories, and unforgettable memories. Looking back on the challenges and successes, I'm reminded of our shared determination to achieve greatness.

I am now officially the 638th Canadian to have completed all 6 major marathons!

Thank you Julia for making this journey simply memorable


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