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What is the longest race in the Olympics?

Although the triathlon is 51.5km, the 50km race walk is considered the longest Olympic event as it is a single discipline five miles longer than the marathon.

Elena Lashmanova of Russia races to the finish line and wins the gold during the Women's 20km Walk on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Feng LiGetty Images

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will take to the streets later this week with the start of the ultra-distance events. On the track, the 10,000m is the signature distance event but when the road events begin competitors will be going much further in the marathon and the racewalking disciplines.

What is the longest Olympic race in Tokyo?

As at every Olympic Games since Los Angeles in 1932, the men's 50km race walk has taken the prize as the longest race at the competition. In terms of miles, the men's race walk covers a distance of 31, some five miles longer than the marathon. Yohan Diniz of France holds the current world record in the event, his 3:32:33 in Zurich in 2014 beating the previous mark set by Russia's Denis Nizhegorodov in May 2008. The Olympic record is held by Jared Tallent of Australia, who set a time of 3:36:53 at London 2012.

The women's race walk, which covers 20km, was first introduced as an Olympic event in 2000. The current champion is China's Liu Hong, who also holds the world record over the distance at 1:24:38.

The triathlon is longer than either the racewalking events or the marathon but consists of three separate events in one: a 1.5 km (0.93 miles) swim, 40 km (25 miles) cycle, and a 10 km (6.2 miles) run gives the event a total distance of 51.5km (32.1 miles) but it is not an IAAF event, governed instead by World Triathlon.

Tokyo 2020 marathon events

The Tokyo marathons will be held on 7 August (women) and 8 August (men) and will be staged in Odori Park, Sapporo.

The Japanese capital was the favorite to host the race, however, the venue was moved in October 2019 due to concerns about high temperatures in Tokyo.

As at evey Olympics since its debut in 1896 (1984 for the women's event), with slight variations during the early years of the race, the Tokyo marathon will be held over a distance of 26.2 miles (42.195 km)

The current Olympic record holder in the men's event is Samuel Wanjiru, who set a mark of 2:06:32 in Beijing in 2008. At the next Games in London, the current women's record of 2:23:07 was set by Tiki Gelana.