The National High School Ekiden Relay Race 2014
The National High School Ekiden Relay Race is held annually in Kyoto every December. In 1950, High School Ekiden was held for the first time and was only for boys. In 1989 an annual girls High School Ekiden Race was held for the first time. Teams consisting of seven boys run 42.195km, the same as full marathon. The first section is 10km, which is the longest section in the race. Teams consisting of five girls run 21.0975km, a half marathon. In order for a team to enter the final race in Kyoto they need to win the local prefecture Ekiden relay race. 47 high school teams, one from each prefecture compete in this final race. There have been problems in the past when teams, in order to gain an advantage over other teams, used foreign runners in the first section of the race. However, the practice of using foreign runners in the first section of the race has been banned since 2008. The Sera High School team, from Hiroshima prefecture, won the race this year.
The National High School Ekiden 2012