6 Namban Teams Run in Okutama Ekiden

Okutama, one of the oldest ekidens in Japan, saw its 73rd running on December 4th. Held in the countryside far west of Tokyo proper (but still Tokyo), it has a hilly course that meanders along a river before returning to the town of Ome. Namban Rengo has participated every year since 1988 (it was the first race we ever entered) and this year we upped our presence with three men’s teams (6 members each) and three women’s teams (3 members each). Men’s course is 44.4km, but women’s is only 11.1 (old school - the race is also hand-timed). Afterwards we repaired to our traditional sushi restaurant for food and drink (lots) and watching the last part of the Fukuoka marathon on TV. A good day!