Are you ready to wake up before sunrise and ride your bike in the freezing cold for 40 minutes over to the Toyota Ekiden?
HELL NO!, but yes, that is exactly what we did. The 70th annual Toyota Motor Corporation’s Ekiden took place on December 4, 2016. Over 540 teams (8 runners per team) of Toyota employees from all over the world competed in the relay race this year, including Julien’s team. Ah, so that’s why you had to be there? In short, yes, but I am glad to have had the experience! It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before (of course, it’s Japan, dude!), and I have been to my fair share of races.
What is an Ekiden? It is the Japanese term used for any type of long-distance relay race. The first Ekiden race took place in 1917 over the course of three days, with runners relaying between the old Japanese capital of Kyoto to the modern capital of Tokyo, a distance of 508 km. This was done to commemorate the anniversary of the 1868 decision to move Japan’s capital to Tokyo. Toyota Motor Corporation’s first Ekiden took place in 1946.
Well, that’s enough history for now. Enjoy the show!
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