Ekiden: A closer look at the Japanese way - ESPNHS Track and XC
Ekiden: A closer look at the Japanese way
December, 24, 2011
By Bruce Carrick
It is Sunday morning, Dec. 25, and all across Japan TV sets are tuned in to the spectacle of high school distance running championships held in the streets of Kyoto. Thousands of spectators line the streets to see 47 girls teams and 47 boys teams compete in the national ekiden championships.
Ekiden is the culmination of Japan’s massively popular year-round high school running scene and it is the crown jewel of a system that is entirely different from the way things operate in the U.S. This weekend’s championships are the 63rd annual for boys, the 22nd for girls.