Sponsored Link


Bookmark and Share

Hakone Ekiden / New Year Day's Event in Japan

Hakone Ekiden (箱根駅伝), which is officially called The Tokyo-Hakone Round-Trip College Ekiden Race (東京箱根間往復大学駅伝競走 Tōkyō Hakone kan Ōfuku Daigaku Ekiden Kyōsō), is one of the prominent university ekiden (relay marathon) races of the year held between Tokyo and Hakone in Japan on 2 and 3 January every year.
The race is telecast on Nippon Television.

This two-day race from Ōtemachi, Tokyo to Hakone and back is separated into five sections on each day.
Due to slight variations in the courses, the first day distance is 108.0km while the distance on the second day is 109.9km.
Only male runners are allowed to run.
Please feel Hakone Ekiden by the Video below provided by Voeh Com.

Athletetachinokiseki( 85th Hakone Ekiden)

Watch Athletetachinokiseki( 85th Hakone Ekiden) | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Hakone Ekiden was started in 1920. Shizo Kanaguri, who is known as the father of the Japanese marathon, conceived the idea. His enthusiastic idea of bringing up a runner who could compete in the world became the driving force of establishing Hakone Ekiden. When Kanaguri was a Tokyo Koto Shihan school (Koshi) student, he participated in Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912 as one of the representative Japanese marathon runners. He had to give up his race on the way, however.

On Jan 2, 5 runners will run from Otemachi, Tokyo to Hakone.
And On Jan 3, another 5 runners will run from Hakone to Otemachi, Tokyo.

The Rule is as follows;
Five sections are provided between Tokyo and Hakone each way. Each runner runs one section, alternates with the next runner at a station. Each team has ten runners, running with their teams' sashes which are handed over to the next runner on the team at each station.
If a runner cannot get to a station within twenty minutes after the top runner reached it, the next runner starts with a substitute sash. The time difference is added to the goal time.

The Participation is as follows;
Twenty universities, which belong to The Inter-University Athletic Union of Kanto (関東学生陸上競技連盟 Kantō gakusei rikujō kyōgi renmei), can participate in this Ekiden. Ten of them have seed rights which they got the previous year, nine are the best nine universities in a preliminary contest, and the tenth is a group of runners made up of those who do not belong to any of the 19 universities but achieved a good record in a preliminary contest.

The first half, January 2

The first section (21.4km) From Ōtemachi, Tokyo to Tsurumi, Yokohama

This is one of the most important sections because the first runner’s rank affects how the team performs in this marathon relay. So every team makes strong runner run in this section. The whole course is flat, but there are some ups and downs at Shin-Yatsuyamabashi (新八ツ山橋) and Rokugōbashi (六郷橋).

The second section (23.2km) From Tsurumi to Totsuka

Traditionally, the fastest runner in each team usually runs on this course. This course is very severe because there are two long and steep slopes. Every year, some runners overtake others in this section, so we can expect exciting race.

The third section (21.5km) From Totsuka to Hiratsuka

In this section, strong sea wind troubles runners, but they can enjoy beautiful scenery such as Mt. Fuji and Sagami Bay. A lot of spectators come to this section to cheer runners. The number of them is the largest of all sections.

The fourth section (18.5km) From Hiratsuka to Odawara

This section is the shortest of all sections. There are many ups and downs, so it is difficult for runners to keep their pace.

The fifth section (23.4km) From Odawara to Lake Ashi, Hakone

This section is the longest one. Runners must run up steep slopes, which is about 800m high. And after climbing, they have to go down. So this is the most severe section.

The second half, January 3

The sixth section (20.8km) From Lake Ashi, Hakone to Odawara

At first runners run up a little, then they run down steep slopes. These slopes are very hard on runners' legs, so a lot of them slow down just before goal. They start running at about 8 o’clock. To protect themselves against the cold, many of them wear uniforms with long sleeves.

The seventh section (21.3km) From Odawara to Hiratsuka

The difference of temperature between the start and the goal is larger than any other section. This course is almost flat until 9km, but after that there are some ups and downs. The record of this section is the oldest of all section.

The eighth section (21.5km) From Hiratsuka to Totsuka

The first half of this section is almost flat, but second one has a slope so-called Yugyōji-no-saka (遊行寺の坂?) which causes runners severe difficulties. Some teams which run around the 10th place start to worry whether they are seeded or not.

The ninth section (23.2km) From Totsuka to Tsurumi

This section is the longest in the second day’s sections. There are many downs, so runners must control their speed. At this section, many teams reverse their places.

The tenth section (23.1km) From Tsurumi to Otemachi, Tokyo

This is the last section of Hakone marathon race (Ekiden). This course is almost flat, but sometimes a strong wind blows among the very tall building. There are many fans who cheer runners, so runners feel a strong pressure not to disappoint the fans.

By T.S. on Jan 3, 2009
Bookmark and Share



Sponsored Link
Sponsored Link
The Latest Articles
Monthly Archives
Sopnsored Link
Sponsored Link
Link List
Free Area
Link Area
ONLINE Counter
Latest Comments
Latest Trackback




Author:T. SATOH