The high school season-opening Nihonkai Ekiden and Kurayoshi Women's Ekiden took place Oct. 6 in Kurayoshi, Tottori. A total of 226 high school teams took part in the two events, both of which delivered heated battles.
In the boys' race, the 39th edition of the Nihonkai Ekiden covering 42.195 km in seven stages starting and finishing at Kurayoshi Municipal Field, Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. emerged victorious for the second time with a time of 2:04:40 after taking control on the opening stage. After getting off to a weak start, Sera H.S. took 2nd, with Toyokawa H.S. 3rd after briefly leading mid-race. The top team from Hyogo prefecture, Suma Gakuen H.S. was 6th in 2:06:43, with rivals Hotoku H.S. 8th in 2:07:02 and Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. 10th in 2:07:41.
Held the same day, the girls competed in the 34th running of the 21.0975 km Kurayoshi Women's Ekiden, likewise starting and finishing at Kurayoshi Municipal Field. Defending champion team Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S. won again in 1:11:32 in a sprint finish over Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. With its third runner Kirara Kubo winning her stage, Hyogo's Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. was 3rd in 1:11:39.
translated and edited by Brett Larner