Today, ASICS announces its 2020 World Ekiden, a relay to promote unity and competition within the running community. The event kicks off on November 11 and runs through November 22, giving runners 10 days to complete a relay-style marathon.
The word ekiden comes from the combination of the Japanese characters for ‘station’ and ‘transmit’. In the Edo period of Japanese history (1603-1867), couriers traversed the Tokaido road between Edo (the historic name for Tokyo) and the imperial capital city of Kyoto — a distance of approximately 508K, to deliver messages. Now, ekiden’s are relay races where runners had off a sash (called a tasuki) to each other.
How the ASICS Ekiden works
The challenge is split into three segments of 5K, two of 10K and one of 7.2K, with teams of six aiming to pass their digital tasuki across the virtual finish line in the fastest total time possible.
Team captains can register their group via Race Roster or Runkeeper. They’ll be able to select which division they’d like to compete in (each team needs to be a mix of men and women). Registration is free.
The ekiden will be run via Runkeeper, an app where you can run your segment at any time during the race period. You can also run the event in succession. All submitted times will be recognized on a leaderboard. For more information, see here.
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