Namban Rengo’s friendly neighborhood Ekiden


Namban Rengo fielded five teams at this year’s Shibuya Ekiden that was held in our beloved Yoyogi Park on a very cold morning on Sunday, January 16th. The Shibuya Ekiden often gives new Namban Rengo members their first taste of a Japanese ekiden (team relay), and it also marks the start of the busy winter running season for many team regulars. Even though it is short ekiden by local standards with four 2.8km legs, the competition was hot as usual on a tight course that winds its way around one section of Yoyogi Park. And the convenience of the race, located in the park and across from Oda Field is another big draw card. 


We were defending champions from 2010 in the Ladies Open and Men’s Masters. But this year the standard of competition was far tougher with some University runners and ex-professionals making appearances in some of the other teams. Namban could not match the lofty highs of last year’s results, but still managed to record two second place finishes in the both the Open Men and Ladies, and a third place finish in the Masters Men. The Open Mens A Team also finished in a creditable 6th place.

Namban A 6th in 41:05 , Namban B 17th in 45:22 and Namban C were 55th in 51:12 out of 113 teams.
Open Women: 2nd place in 47:19 out of 17 teams.
Masters Men (40+): 3rd place in 42:20 out of 28 teams.

Open Men A
1 James Midgely (captain)
2 Juma Khalfan
3 Kerrin Rattray
4 Michael Tandler

Open Men B
1 Taro Oguchi (captain)
2 Lars Uhelin
3 Luke McDonald
4 Cory McGowan

Open Men C
1 Dan Newman
2 Kazuo Chiba (captain)
3 Shosaku Yamada
4 Daniel Seite

Masters A
1 Keren Miers
2 Terry Minegishi
3 Juergen Wittstock
4 Fabrizio Raponi (captain)

Women A
1 Kylie Breeze
2 Rie Onodera
3 Satoe Aoki
4 Mika Tokairin (captain)

Photos: Kazuo Chiba