Notes & Reflections
In order to compete in Hakone there are three major qualifying races that Tokyo-area teams must attend. We caught our first glimpse of the pre-Hakone excitement at the 2017 Tachikawa Yosenkai Qualifing race. Just twenty-four hours before we took the train to Tachikawa, Ota-san sat down to talk with us about the varying elements of the competition.
Imagine: 50 teams. 500 total athletes and hundreds of supporters. 20km to run
Japanese cheering squads that preform before the race begins
50 teams - 50 cheer squads dancing, drumming and cheering on their respective teams
9:00 AM the race begins
Approximately 500 runners race through the Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa, Tokyo
What is more important? The individual runner or the collective group?
How do you keep track of who is winning? The Alumni - tally sheets and counting help the fans know who is winning.
Crowd watches final runners finish
According to Ota, during the 2016 Yosenkai Qualifing Race Chuo University failed to make the top 10 seats. As a result, Chuo University could not compete in Hakone for the first time since 1925.