Brett Larner

 Photo Credits:  SportsNavi

Photo Credits: SportsNavi


Journalist for Runners World and a blogger for Japan Running News, Brett was one of our team’s most prominent primary sources for English content on Japanese running.  Brett has a unique understanding of the differences between American and Japanese collegiate sports, particularly how the perceptions we hold of team vs. individual mentalities starkly contradict the realities of college sports dynamics.

Japan Running News

 Photo Courtesy  Japan Running News

Photo Courtesy Japan Running News

 Here is Brett pointing to the start line of the 2018 Yosenkai start line

Here is Brett pointing to the start line of the 2018 Yosenkai start line

Our first introductions into the Japanese running world was through Japan Running News, Brett Larner's long time running blog. Here is Brett explaining the beginning of his blog: 


The first time that we started to see the intricacies of Japanese long distance running was when we read through Larner's ekiden season guide. Here are a couple of key terms and ideas that we gathered from his article

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Japan Running News

Our first window into the ekiden season

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A brief ekiden season summary:

  • Who participates in the ekiden season? 
    • High school, university and corporate teams (male/female)
  • What is an ekiden?
    • A long distance relay race. The distance of a runner's leg varies on the race. 
  • When is the ekiden season?
    • The ekiden season spans from September to January. There are three big qualifying races for the Tokyo-area university teams (Izumo, Yosenkai, Ageo). The combination of the three races narrow down the 20 teams to participate in the Hakone Ekiden, the "super-bowl" of ekidens for the Tokyo-area universities.
  • Where are ekidens held?
    • Ekidens are held all around Japan, however, since the university competition is regionally divided teams compete against universities that are in close proximity. As a result, Tokyo or the Kanto region is known to have the best and most popularly supported ekiden teams. 

Notes & Reflections


Points of Contact

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When JRN meets RJF

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"Happy to help!"

Our first introduction and conversation about the RJF project