Hold on to your running shoes, UK. In 2024, we will launch a new race that celebrates athleticism, community and cultural exchange, all thanks to a sporting gem from Japan: the Ekiden. It’s not just about getting our heart rates up; this is a relay with a rich cultural tapestry woven into every step.
If you’re hearing about Ekiden for the first time, you’re in for a treat. It’s a long-distance relay race that has been a staple in Japan for decades. Believe me when I say the Ekiden isn’t just a race; it’s a cultural phenomenon, a national tradition, a testament to team spirit that harks back to a team of messengers running to pass on important news from one location to another. The Hakone Ekiden, an event which has elite university running teams racing from central Tokyo to Mount Fuji and back at the start of every year, is celebrating its 100th event in 2024. That’s our inspiration to launch our UK Ekiden number 1 in 2024. What better way to show how inspired we are by the Hakone runners, than to emulate their efforts on this side of the globe.
The UK Ekiden is more than a race, more than just a date in the diary. It’s about bridging two cultures through the simple, universal language of running. As we put the tasuki sash over our heads, and prepare to dash, we also embrace a piece of Japanese tradition, weaving a connection between the UK and Japan, stride by stride.
And here’s where we need you. Whether you’re a seasoned runner, a participant in local park run, or even just fancy trying your hand at Ekiden , keep an eye out for more news and sign up to join the UK Ekiden. We’re not just looking forward to a race; we’re excited about a journey that symbolizes the essence of Ekiden – a journey that we take together. So, lace up your running shoes, the UK Ekiden is on its way, and it promises to be a cultural and athletic milestone you won’t want to miss.