West Seattle runners return from Tokyo Marathon, two with new Six-Star Medals

Six West Seattleites are back from one of the marathons that comprise what’s known as “the most prestigious distance running series in the world.” The achievement completed the series for two of them – including, for a second time, Joe Drake, who sent the report and photo:

(Photo By Antoine Smith)

Residents of West Seattle – from left in above photo, Des Lee, Sarang Shamshery, Patti Shuster, Joe Drake, Sokphal Tun, and Erik Nakich (not pictured) – trekked to Japan this month to run in the 2024 Tokyo Marathon. All of them are avid fans of our favorite running store, West Seattle Runner.

Tokyo is one of six cities that host the annual World Marathon Majors, the premier events for runners worldwide. Completing all six of them to earn the coveted Six-Star Medal is a bucket list item for many marathoners, a journey that often requires several years of planning and training to knock off. Patti Shuster earned her Six-Star Medal in Tokyo. She had been working toward it for the past two and a half years. Joe Drake took home a second one after picking up his first last year in Tokyo.

The others have some work to do to complete their missions. Erick Nakich has only London standing in his way. Sokphal Tun’s finale will be in New York City, someday, after she takes on Chicago later this year. Desmond Lee is halfway there and is strategizing as to which of his remaining cities – Berlin, London, or New York City – will make the best backdrop for his Six-Star Medal photo. (updated) Sarang Shamshery just began his journey with two majors (Chicago and Tokyo) and plans to enjoy the ride to collect the remaining stars as he and his wife are expecting a child in a couple of months and he will be a busy man. You may see him training with a stroller on Hiawatha track every Tuesday!

For more on the World Marathon Majors, see this link.

10 Replies to "West Seattle runners return from Tokyo Marathon, two with new Six-Star Medals"

  • Sokphal March 16, 2024 (9:36 pm)

    I love how Hachiko (dog) fits in so well w our Tokyo experience! Well done everyone and it was great meeting the group this morning. :) Thank you Antoine for taking the pic!

    • Eugene March 17, 2024 (3:45 pm)

      Here’s Hachi observing the photographer! Great to meet you all. Eugene

      • Sokphal March 18, 2024 (6:53 pm)

        This is a great pic Eugene! Antoine is looking for a photographey assistant!😝 Cute pic!

  • 1994 March 16, 2024 (10:50 pm)

    What dedication to their long distance running! Congrats to all and pretty dang amazing!!

  • Admiral WSB fan March 17, 2024 (6:02 am)

    I love this sort of story. Congrats to all the runners and thank you WSB (and West Seattle Runner) for fostering such a great community!

  • Eddie March 17, 2024 (6:54 am)

    Way to go!  Congratulations on this big achievement!!  Your dedication and discipline paid off!

  • LO March 17, 2024 (9:29 am)

    Way to go everyone 👏

  • Lisa March 17, 2024 (8:25 pm)

    Terrific work, all of you!  How exciting!  Special shout-out to Patti Shuster, whom I’ve known for close to 30 years!  Yikes!!! 

  • andreea March 18, 2024 (8:05 am)

    If not for a foot stress fracture four weeks before the big day, my wife would’ve been a seventh WS resident to run this one. Damn you, human body! Big congrats to all!!!

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