On Mar. 4 the Inter-University Athletic Union of Kanto [KGRR] announced rule changes for the 91st Hakone Ekiden on Jan. 2-3, 2015 regarding the Kanto Region University Select Team, made up of top-placing individuals at October's Yosenkai 20 km Road Race from universities that do not qualify for Hakone as teams.
The Select Team was eliminated for this year's 90th Hakone Ekiden but will return next year with its name changed to the Kanto Region University Student United Team.
Along with the name, changes include:
- only one runner is allowed from any single university
- people may run on the team a maximum of twice
- the team's results will not count in the official Hakone Ekiden team standings
- individual placings will not count in the official individual stage standings
- individual times will be recorded and are eligible for stage records
The new changes mean that the Kanto Region University Student United Team and its members will not be named the official winners even if they run the fastest time overall or on any individual stage.
Translator's note: Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), a member of the 2009 Hakone Ekiden Kanto Region University Select Team that included four of Japan's other current best young distance runners, Aritaka Kajiwara (Team Press Kogyo), Norimasa Nishina (Team Fujitsu), Hiroaki Sano (Team Honda) and Hidehito Takamine (Team Fujitsu), has written a rebuttal of the KGRR's decision on his blog dedicated to saving the Select Team.
JRN will publish a translation tomorrow.
And happy 27th birthday to Kawauchi.
translated and edited by Brett Larner – Japan Running News