New Year's marathon relay race, the seasonal tradition in Japan winter. (Hakone Eki-den/箱根駅伝: Second day)

On the second day, I could see the top team of the race.

The top team was Aoyama Gakuin University.
This team started as a top, and kept the position through out the race.

Hakone ekiden have severe rules.

As I wrote yesterday, 21 teams can run the race every year.
The top ten teams can run next year's Hakone ekiden race without election race.
But the position become under 11, the team have to win the election race which held only two month before Hakone ekiden. As it is so difficult to keep the condition and motivation for two months, whole team wishes to keep the 10th position.

This is one of the severe rules.

The second severe rules is that if the team 10 minutes behind time from top team on outward, and 20 minutes on returning race, the runner who waits for sash have to start running without receiving it.

By this rule, we sometimes see the runner who were waiting for the team mate have to start running even though they can see him coming near. It is so ruthless scene.

The runners had done their best this year, as every year usual, it was really good race.

I have to wait a year again to see these young athletes running.

What I thought was that I have to work hard and be healthy to enjoy watching the race next year.

Thank you for reading!
Have a nice weekend!

箱根駅伝, 青山学院大学, 正月