Friday, December 19, 2008

Kurobane Elementary School Breaks Radcliffe's Marathon World Record

translated by Brett Larner

On Dec. 18 Kurobane Elementary School in Kurobanetamachi, Tochigi Prefecture, held its annual 42.195 km marathon ekiden. A team of 30 6th grade students and their teacher each ran from 13 to 14 100 m segments of a 200 m loop course on the school's grounds, passing a baton in a quest to beat British runner Paula Radcliffe's women's world record time of 2:15:25.

This year the 6th graders wore t-shirts printed with the runners' names. Continually accompanied by enthusiastic shouts of encouragement from their classmates, the ekiden team finished in a time of 2:09:22, reaching their goal of a 'new world record.'

Teacher Masami Murakami, 47, smiled, "Everybody did much better than expected." Anchor Shogo Kikuchi, 11, commented, "I'm glad we could all run til the end."

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