2009 Inagi Green Ekiden — REPORT

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The usually expected hot weather was absent today at the 5th Annual Tokyo Verdy 1969 Inagi Green Ekiden. Instead a light to moderate rain fell throughout the event. There had been so much rain earlier that the running track was waterlogged and unusable. The race started from just outside the stadium and runners were told to use the grass inside edge of the track on the finishing loop. Namban Rengo fielded two teams; a mixed open 1. Mika Tokairin, 2. Paddy O’Connor, 3. Kiyonari Yoshida, 4. Brett Larner and a mixed masters; 1. Yuka Shigihara 2. Barry Bergmann, 3. Keiko McGrath, 4. Bob Poulson

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The course twists and turns over 3km. There’s a sharp and savage 500m drop followed by a corresponding 500m tough climb over the last 1km just before entering the stadium for the handover/finish. Both races started with a 5 minute stagger and it was very difficult to follow who was in what position. The Namban mixed open team were surprised and delighted to hear they finished in 2nd place. The mixed masters in a good field came home in 7th.

Photos thanks to Yuka.