What does each World Marathon Major offer for fuel on the course? 

Tokyo Marathon:

  • For the Tokyo Marathon, there is no official sports nutrition sponsor like Gatorade or Clif Bar that I can find. They offer Pocari Sweat, which contains MSG. Make sure you are familiar with Pocari sweat before drinking it. It made my fingers swell during the race. 
  • Please see the below scanned document for where water and fuel is located. 
  • According to Fit Japan’s A Foreigner's Guide to the Tokyo Marathon there is regular food served on the course:
    • Bananas, buns, plums, and even tomatoes to be supplied along the race. 
    • “The crowd very often brings plenty of goodies to the sidelines and offers them freely to runners as they cheer you along…Don’t be shy and be sure to say ‘arigatou!’”
    • Of course bring your favorite brand of fuel
  • Hydration: “Hydration stations are well equipped; clean water is used and stations are frequently and evenly spaced throughout the course. "Bringing personal water bottles is not permitted, unless they are sealed". According the Fit Japan's handbook (see link below). HOWEVER on the Tokyo Marathon website they said "restrictions on carrying liquid items are not yet determined and to refer to the runner handbook". And the 2015 runner handbook says the following: "Unopened products that are available commercially" are allowed. "Single liquid items that are up to 200mL including the container. Multiple containers for a total of up to 400mL (regardless of their number) are okay. Liquid items can be brought in provided that they meet the above 3 conditions". 
  •  Please be sure to check with the official Tokyo Marathon website for official rules. This is all the information I could get based off their website, and the guide mentioned above. 
  • After having run this myself, I do remember tomatoes near the end. I don't believe there were gels/Gu's. There was plenty of water and Picari Sweat. Be careful with Picari Sweat if you are unfamiliar with it. It contains MSG and my hands swelled up after the race. There were plenty of spectators who offered food. It is totally acceptable to take their food. Be sure to thank them! It adds to your experience to take the food the spectators bring for you. 

From the 2016 race. I scanned this document from the booklet they provided. 

Boston Marathon: (as taken from their website): 

  • Clif gel shots are offered on the course
  • From mile 2-25 there will be hydration stations every mile on both sides of the road
  • Each station will first have four tables of Lemon Lime Gatorade Endurance Formula, and the remaining tables will have Poland Spring water. Clif SHOT Energy Gels, will be on the course at three locations with both caffeinated (mocha & citrus) and non-caffeinated (vanilla & Razz) flavors

London Marathon: (as taken from their website)

  •  Lucozade fuel
    •  Miles: 14 and 21.5
    • Miles: 5, 10, 15, 19 and 23 for Lucozade sport drink. Flip top bottles.
  • Water in bottles starting at mile 3-25 every mile. 
    •  Side note: Be careful of the water bottles on the ground. Runners throw the bottles on the ground and you can easily trip over them. I read about someone who dislocated her kneecap after tripping and falling over a water bottle.                                

Berlin Marathon: (as taken from their website)

  • Six Aid Stations are located along the course at the 9 km, 15 km, 20 km, 25 km, 30 km, and 35.8 km marks. Each Aid Station offers water, sweet tea, and PowerBar Sports Drinks (lemon flavor). Bananas and apples will also be provided. The Power Zone, located at the 27.5 km mark, will offer an assortment of flavored PowerGels. PowerBar Sports Drinks will also be available at the finish.
  • Refreshment Stations offering water are located at the 5 km, 11.8 km, 17.5 km, 22.8 km, 27.6 km, 34.3 km, and 40 km markers.
  • Aid Stations are approximately 200 meters long and are located on both sides of the course at 9 km and 15 km. After 15 km, they are located on only one side of the course. Refreshment Stations are approximately 100 meters in length and are located on both sides of the course at 5 km and 11.8 km, after which they are located on only one side.
  • PowerBar Sports Drinks: Isoactive Lemon
  • PowerBar Gels:
    • Hydro Cherry + Caffeine; Hydro Orange; Strawberry Banana; Mango Passionfruit + Caffeine; Red; Fruit Punch; Black Currant + Caffeine
  • If you would like, you can also drop off your own refreshments for certain stations. To do so, bring them, marked in non-glass containers with your name, race number, and station where you would like to receive them to the stand called “Eigenverpflegung” (Own Refreshments) by 7:30 am. (Entrance gate 5, Otto-von-Bismarck-Allee).
  • Also from my personal experience, the Berlin Marathon serves tea on the course!

Chicago Marathon: (as taken from their website)

  • 20 aid stations (see locations below) are located along the course approximately one to two miles apart. Each aid station consists of the following amenities in this order: Medical Tent with access to a Runner Transport vehicle. Toilet facilities. Gatorade Endurance Formula (lemon-lime flavor). Water. Public address announcer
  • PowerGel® Energy Gels will be at Aid Station 13 (Mile 17.8). Available flavors will be in both caffeinated (Chocolate and Strawberry Banana) and non-caffeinated (Vanilla, Orange Dream and Pomegranate Blueberry Acai) offerings. The flavors will be separated by caffeinated and non-caffeinated at the aid station. Runners should consume caffeine responsibly and within dietary and safety recommendations.
  • Aid Stations 15-18 (Miles 20-23.5) will offer bananas.                                              

New York Marathon: (as taken from their website)

  • Course fluid stations: Fluid stations are at located every mile along the course beginning at mile 3. They will provide: Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water (Also available at the start and finish). Gatorade® Endurance Formula™ - Lemon / Lime Flavor (Except for Mile 17). Fluids will be dispensed in recyclable cups on tables on both sides of the course. To avoid the bottleneck at the first table, get a cup from a later table. Please keep moving after you pick up your cup.
  • Hydration Zone
    • The Poland Spring® Hydration Zone—including water stations, sponges, and music—will be located at mile 17 on First Avenue.
  • Nutrition stations: PowerGel Energy Zone at mile 18, assorted PowerGels will help your hurdle "the wall" and energize you to the finish. Fruit will be available at the fluid stations at miles 20-23.


For your safety, take fluids and food only at official stations. Course nutrition subject to change. Please reference each individual marathon website for more details or changes. This was written on 2/14/2016. 
•    London: https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/training/nutrition/sports-nutrition-essentials/
•    NY City Marathon: http://help.tcsnycmarathon.org/customer/en/portal/articles/2120142-course-amenities
•    Chicago marathon: https://www.chicagomarathon.com/participant-information/course-amenities/
•    Berlin Marathon: http://www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com/en/training-and-sports-medicine/refreshment-points/
•    Boston Marathon: http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/event-information/along-the-course.aspx
•    Tokyo Marathon: https://www.fitjapan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Tokyo-Marathon-Guide-2016.pdf