ASICS launches World Ekiden 2020, a virtual relay-style marathon for you and five active friends

Vinciane Ngomsi
·Yahoo Sports Contributor
·2-min read
Ekiden is a blend of the Japanese characters for “station” and “transmit.” (ASICS)
Ekiden is a blend of the Japanese characters for “station” and “transmit.” (Photo by ASICS)

In-person marathons might be canceled this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t obtain a new personal record, even while engaging in some friendly competition with your fit fam.

ASICS is launching a virtual relay to promote harmony within the running community. World Ekiden 2020 is scheduled to begin November 11 and runs through November 22, giving participants 10 days to complete a relay-style marathon.

“We know people are missing the motivation and connection they get from team sport, so we are really excited to bring people together from all over the world to train and compete together in pursuit of a shared goal,” Yasuhito Hirota, President and COO of the Japanese company said. “In the true spirit of the Ekiden, anybody can take part, and nobody will be running alone.”

Per Running Magazine, ekiden is a blend of the Japanese characters for “station” and “transmit.” During the Edo period of Japanese history (1603-1867), messengers traveled the Tokaido road between Edo (Tokyo’s former name) and the imperial capital city of Kyoto. This totaled a length of 508 kilometers. To pay homage and maintain tradition, ekiden participants hand off a sash (tasuki) to one another.

How does World Ekiden work?

The competition is split into six legs, three 5km legs, two 10km legs and one 7.2km leg. Team captains can register a squad of six for free on Race Roster. In an effort to motivate each member, ASICS will provide complimentary access to expert tips from their certified coaches. Once all the legs are complete, the team would have done a full 42.2km marathon.

ASICS World Ekiden is a socially-distant, yet phenomenal way to bring together a community of runners who are not only committed to their physical health, but also their mental and emotional well-being. Not to mention, there’s nothing like some lighthearted sport during a moment where things appear so uncertain. To find out more details and register for World Ekden 2020, visit ASICS’ website. While you’re there, gear up for the contest and snag some new running apparel for extra encouragement.