On November 12, I went to Wakayama to root for our athletic club members who competed in the 60th Kansai Corporate Team Ekiden Championship. Finishing the race in second place, our team earned the right to compete in the New Year Ekiden, to be held on January 1, for the first time in two years. Thank you very much for your support and encouragement to the team!
This was the first time that I rooted for runners from the sidelines along the course. In the exciting atmosphere of the race, I cheered runners on loudly in spite of myself. I was very impressed with the speed of the runners passing before my eyes. Watching athletes running with all their might with a painful look on their faces made me feel like rooting for all the runners, regardless of their teams, feeling the underlying essence of all sports.
Last year, our athletic club finished the race in fourth place and so did not qualify for the New Year Ekiden. However, this year, though there were differences in the race conditions, such as weather, the team successfully finished second with a time about three and a half minutes faster than last year, earning the right to compete in the New Year Ekiden. I feel that this is the result of all the members' doing their very best and demonstrating excellent performance. I would like to express my respect to all the members of our athletic club, including those who could not compete in the race this time, for their daily strenuous effort.
Now with the new, big target of the New Year Ekiden ahead of them, I hope that all the members of our athletic club keep up their training so they can demonstrate everything they have. I need to find accommodations where I can stay the night before the event to prepare to cheer our team on!