translated and edited by Brett Larner
Nihon University senior Daniel Muiva Kitonyi is ready to be crowned the King. Set to run the Hakone Ekiden's uphill Fifth Stage for the third-straight year, the reliably superb Kitonyi is a Christian. He prays to God every morning and before races and listens to Gospel music to relax. Last year he ran a sensational 1:18:45 on the Fifth Stage but was beaten by 2 1/2 minutes by Daichi Kamino (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.). When he heard Kamino being called the "God of the Mountain" in the news afterward Kitonyi did not understand. "Why do they call him God?" he asked in puzzlement. If he succeeds in beating Kamino this year to win the stage best title, he says, "Call me the Mountain King," hoping to bring the moniker given to Hakone's biggest star back from the realm of the divine to that of mere mortals.