translated and edited by Brett Larner
On Nov. 5 at a press conference at its offices in Shibuya, Tokyo, Rikuren announced the lineup for the Japanese national team at the Nov. 23 International Chiba Ekiden. Including two alternates, the mixed men's and women's team features an all-star lineup including Berlin World Championships marathon 6th place finisher Atsushi Sato (Team Chugoku Denryoku), 1500 m and 5000 m national champion Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B), Beijing Olympics 5000 m and 10000 m runner Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B), 2008 World Half Marathon 5th place finisher Yusei Nakao (Team Toyota Boshoku) on the men's side and Berlin World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Yurika Nakamura (Team Tenmaya), 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Boshoku), Berlin World Championships marathoner Yukiko Akaba (Team Hokuren), and ekiden ace Yuko Shimizu (Team Sekisui Kagaku).
The 2009 International Chiba Ekiden features 15 teams from 13 countries including Kenya, Russia and the United States. A Japanese university select team and a Chiba prefectural team complete the field's lineup.