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2000 People Shovel Snow to Prevent National Women's Ekiden From Being Cancelled

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASK1H63JLK1HUTQP01K.html

translated by Brett Larner

Hit by heavy snow, organizers of the National Women's Ekiden were unsure if the race could be held until just before its start.  With 10 cm of snow blanketing the ground early on the 15th they leaned toward cancelling the national championship event.  2000 people pitched in to shovel snow off the course, but at 10:30 a.m. just two hours before the scheduled start, there was still snow on Gojo Street.  Teruo Ito, executive director of the Kyoto Athletics Association, commented, "I felt that if the snow melted we would make it in time.  Thinking of the athletes' efforts, I knew that if we did our best to make the race go off as planned we'd absolutely be able to make it happen."

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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

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