Running in Tokyo/Japan - Marathon/Clubs/Track Races


The return leg of the Hakone Ekiden provided for a dramatic competition from the beginning, with Toyo losing the lead to Waseda at about 3k, just to regain it at 8, after the Waseda’s highly-regarded Kato obviously encountered some problems. From that point, Waseda followed Toyo with the gap between the two schools about two or three seconds. Amazingly, Kato, with a painful expression on his face, regained the lead at 19k and finished with about 20sec lead over Toyo. Leg two saw no big changes, but a lot of drama, as the gap between Waseda and Toyo opened, just to be reduced to less than the initial 19sec in the end. Obviously, timing yourself on a steep downhill is not easy.
Leg three had Toyo take the lead over Waseda, gaining 45sec until the hand-off. Favourites Komazawa were struggling in 15th position, outside the top then that qualify for next year’s race without having to take part in the preliminaries.
Waseda came back on leg four, but was not able to close the gap completely.
The surprise on the last two legs was the lack of drama at the top, as everybody had expected Waseda to come back strongly, and Komazawa put up a fight to regain a spot among the seeded top 10. Nothing like that, Toyo pulled away for good, and easily won its first over-all championship. Komazawa did not get into the top 10 and will have to start from scratch next year!

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Comment by juergen wittstock on January 5, 2009 at 10:05am
Yes, this year was great. I think Kashiwabara's run was a historical event! I nevr expected him to break the leg-record! Too bad I was not in Hakone, like three years ago!
Comment by Chika Kanai on January 4, 2009 at 8:14pm
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu, Juergen.

Komazawa won Nihon Daigaku Ekiden in 2008. So, many people expected Komazawa would win in this time but it the university didn't win even didn't make place within 10th. Toyo had a few reputation and many people didn't expected for win, though Kashiwabara was believed to make best record.
This is why Hakone Ekiden is very interesting to me, unexpected result (Bankuruwase) ;)


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