translated by Brett Larner
video by Nihonkai Shimbun
The 36th Nihonkai Ekiden and 31st Kurayoshi Women's Ekiden took place Oct. 2 in Kurayoshi, Tottori, preludes to December's National High School Ekiden Championships. In the 7-stage, 42.195 km boys' race, 2008 national champion Saku Chosei H.S. scored its first overall Nihonkai win, running 2:09:15. The 2013 national champion Toyokawa H.S. girls likewise won the 5-stage, 21.0975 km Kurayoshi race for the first time, crossing the finish line in 1:10:11. Kansai Prep Hokuyo H.S. was the top local team at 12th in the boys' race.
At the end of Nihonkai's First Stage the Saku Chosei boys were far back in 29th, but moving up gradually through the field they took the lead on the second to last stage and held on through the anchor stage. The Toyokawa girls took over on the Kurayoshi First Stage and never gave up the lead. A total of 217 school teams took part in the two races, delivering exciting competition throughout.