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Will Wanjiru's Record Fall? Watch the National High School Ekiden Championships Live

The 2011 National High School Ekiden Championships take place Dec. 25 in Kyoto.  Both the girls' and boys' races will be broadcast live and commercial-free on NHK.  Overseas viewers should be able to watch live online via Keyhole TV using the password, which should be the same as the name of the broadcasting network.  The girls' race will be broadcast from 10:05 to 11:54 a.m. Japan time, with boys' race taking place from 12:15 to 2:52 p.m.

My apologies for the lack of a full preview article, but getting all the material for the Japan in Wanjiru series together this week has really taken a lot out of me.  If for no other reason, this year's Nationals are worth watching because Kenyan Charles Ndirangu of Sera H.S. has an excellent chance of breaking Samuel Wanjiru's record on the Third Stage if the weather holds.  Ndirangu missed Wanjiru's historic 2004 mark by one second last year and since then has set the Japanese high school 5000 m record.  Tune in to see if it happens.  If I have the energy I will do live commentary via Twitter @JRNLive.

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays.

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Lexicon

Betsudai - the Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon
daigaku - university
ekiden - a long-distance relay race
faito - a courseside audience cheer; see ganbatte
ganbatte (ganbare) - a courseside audience cheer; see faito
gasshuku - an intensive training camp
Hakone Ekiden - the annual university men`s championships
jitsugyodan - corporate-sponsored professional running teams
onsen - a hot spring
Q-chan - Naoko Takahashi, the 2000 Sydney Olympics women`s marathon gold medalist, Olympic record holder and first woman to break 2:20 in the marathon
rikujo - track and field, the marathon, and other running events
Rikuren - the JAAF
tasuki - the sash which is handed off during an ekiden
zannen - too bad
otaku - a nerdy, socially awkward person, usually male, who is obsessed with some esoteric topic

Race Entries

Races in Japan usually close entry at least a month beforehand, often much longer. They generally do not have race day entry and race organizers are not willing to make special exceptions for foreigners. If you are coming to Japan for, say, a business trip in two weeks, it is not possible to enter a race. If you are making longer-range plans then it may be possible to find a suitable event using the following services:

Samurai Running Japan is a long-standing entry service that focuses on smaller races to help overseas visitors "experience the 'real' Japan."  Along with entry it assists with accommodations and transportation.

Launched in September, 2015, Runnet Japan is an English-language branch of Runnet, Japan's dominant online entry service, catering to the international community.  The number of races offered on Runnet Japan is still limited but constantly expanding.

Other entry services like Sports Entry, TecNet and the new Sportsnavi Do still offer only Ja…

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