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Harriers Win Shibuya Ekiden (updated)

by Brett Larner

The Harriers team overcame an accident-ridden 1st stage to score its first-ever win in the Shibuya Ekiden on Jan. 20. Threatened snowy weather did not materialize, making for ideal conditions on the 12 km, 4 stage course. 1st stage Harriers runner Eiji Kobayashi ran the first 10 m of the race without realizing that his tasuki had come off while taking off his warmup uniform. Kobayashi doubled back to the warmup area to retrieve the tasuki before starting again, losing over 1 minute. Harriers' 2nd, 3rd and 4th stage runners clocked stage best time performances to help the team move up through the field, with anchor Jason Lawrence of New Zealand taking the lead immediately after beginning his run. Harriers won in a total time of 37:43 including loss time from the 1st stage accident. 2-time defending champion Namban Rengo was 2nd, with the Tokyo Fire Department AC 3rd.

UPDATE: On the strength of its win at the Shibuya Ekiden, Harriers was selected by Shibuya government officials on Jan. 22 to represent Shibuya at the Mar. 23 Tokyo Championship Ekiden.

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