Namban Rengo participated in this 3-hour relay charity ekiden in Tokyo’s Odaiba district and came away with a surprising 5th position overall out of 184 teams.
The event was held on an approximately 1.1 km (0.7 mile) course, with the aim to complete as many loops as possible in the three hours. The charity was for the Special Olympics which is a sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities.
Although they entered this as a fun run, Nambanners obviously have racing in their blood—starting fast and strong, keeping constant pace and finishing with a respectable podium placing. A total of 40.7 kilometrers (approx. 25 miles) were completed in the three hours.
The ten team members were: Bob Johnston, Derek Leong, Yuuka Yonemura, Bob Poulson, Keren Miers, Makiko Hosokawa, Taeko Hara, Yoshiro Morioka, Yumi Kato and Ikue Ohshio. Naoko Hanakawa was the genki cheerleader for the team.
The official podium result was presented by former Olympic marathon medalist, Yuko Arimori. A very enjoyable day was had by all, topped off by the 5th place prize red megaphones.