Hiroshima Men's Relay Marathon

Good morning everyone,

The forecast for today has taken a turn for the worse-now it's supposed to be cloudy for most of the day with a chance of rain overnight and the rain will continue into tomorrow morning and through most of the day tomorrow. Friday and the weekend will be nice with highs around 10C and partly to mostly sunny skies.

I'm absolutely going to watch the Hiroshima Men's Relay Marathon on Sunday. I just haven't decided yet where to watch it from. The easiest way would be to walk the 50m to Route #2 and watch them as they go past my house. That'll be my lazy option if I end up doing my errands in the morning and don't have time to head downtown. Otherwise, I'd like to head to Peace Park (where the race will start and finish). I've never been to see one, but I've heard that the atmosphere at the park is very festival-like with many tents and small booths promoting products and foods from all over Japan. It sounds like it might be worth putting up with the crowds just to enjoy it.

For those of you who don't know that much about the race, here are some basic facts:
  •  This year will be the 20th running of the race.
  • Hiroshima managed to win the first one, but haven't been able to repeat that victory since.
  • Hiroshima Prefecture has finished 2nd twice and often finishes in the top 10. The worst result was 24th (out of 47) and last year finished 14th.
  • A Hiroshima high school. Sera, won the national championship recently, so people have high hopes for Hiroshima to win this year's race.
  • The race has 7 runners on each team. The 1st, 4th and 5th legs are run by high school students, the 2nd and 6th legs are run by junior high school students and the 3rd and final legs are run by either university students or professional runners.
  • The race starts at the A-Bomb Dome and the teams run to Miyajima Station and back.
  • The race is exactly 48.0km long and the winning team usually finishes it in around 2hrs and 20mins.
  • Last year the winning team was from Nagano and their time was 2:19:20.
  •  The race begins at 12:30 on January 18th.
Anybody else heading to downtown to join in the fun? Or will you stay home under the kotatsu and watch it on TV? Or do you just hate the fact that the race makes it difficult for you to get downtown and do some shopping? 

I'm still undecided about which one I'll do, but I'm looking forward to seeing the event for the first time!

Have a great day!

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