Namban Rengo has been participating in the Okutama Ekiden (road relay) since 1989. The first three years we had very fast teams and finished in the top four, but we haven’t had a top ten finish since then…until this year. On Dec. 2nd, our A team of Gary Wilberforce, Yuta Suda, Ryudo Tsukizaki, Sean Lonergan, Yuki Fukushima and Mike Trees raced to a 7th place finish. Okutama is the second oldest ekiden in Japan (80 years!) and is a very high level race, so 7th out of 122 teams is very impressive. Congratulations to the A team, you made us proud. The women also performed well, coming in 12th, 14th and 27th against fast university and high school teams. We had three other men’s teams as well, for a total of 33 runners, who were supported by a five-person cheering squad out on the 44.8km course. The weather was perfect, so it was a great day out in the countryside west of Tokyo.