translated by Brett Larner
Course record-setting winners of the 2012 Hakone Ekiden this past January, the Toyo University ekiden team arrived in Yamakoshi, Niigata on Aug. 23 for intensive summer training. Looking to defend their Hakone title, ten members of the team led by assistant captain and Hakone Sixth Stage winner Takanori Ichikawa (21) will kick off their season on the tough, hilly mountain roads around Yamakoshi.
This year marks Toyo's fifth time doing summer training in Yamakoshi. The team will be knocking out its training for five days through the 27th. Arriving midday on the 23rd, the athletes were very soon out the door and running on a 9 km course. Cheers of encouragement from local residents helped the team on as they gritted their way up a steep uphill.