Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN 2016

POSTED ON
04/09/2016

On March 13, the Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN 2016 took place under the beautiful blue sky of
Oahu with a total of 133 teams, 702 runners. 
 

Since its inauguration in 2013, the Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN has become a popular fun run/ team building event hosted by JTB Inc. With its brand slogan of “Perfect moments, always,” the event was originally founded with a mindset to cross pollinate the deep culture of Japan and Hawaii through a fun sporting event, while invigorating the local communities, creating layers and layers of friendship, looking past ethnicity, which in hope will become a big rainbow for generations to come. The 4th annual Ekiden event ended in a big success with 702 different smiles, casting yet another rainbow.

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The event kicked-off with a powerful Taiko (Japanese drum) performance by “Taiko Kozo & Mamezakura” from Japan. Their percussion instruments sounded like rumbling thunder, beating in the beats with powerful and dramatic stage performances, filled the audience with excitement.
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Following the Taiko performance was Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN 2016’s official cheerleaders, JAL JETS. JAL JETS is a cheerleading team consisting actual Japan Airline cabin attendants. When they are not cheering, they are providing services in domestic and international flights including Honolulu and Japan.
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The JAL JETS had a busy day as the members were out in the course, cheering on all the runners and posing with the finishers for photo ops after their performance.
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The Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN 2016 had another official cheer squad from Nagoya, Japan, the idol unit “dela.” Not only did the dela members helped out in the ZUMBA warm-up but they formed a team to compete in the EKIDEN, finishing 37th out of 133 teams! 07_4x3 08_4x3
As usual, the annual ZUMBA warm-up got everyone loosened up and their blood flowing while having a good time with the upbeat music.
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But wait, what’s better than a fun ZUMBA warm-up? A fun ZUMBA warm up that you can win prizes! The JAL JETS scouted out the top 5 ZUMBA participants which got a free lemonade coupon courtesy of Waimanalo Country Farms!
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One of the lemonade winners bursting with energy. Looked like she was all pumped-up and ready to go! 

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Now only moments away from starting the Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN 2016! All the first runners of the team to the starting line!
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As the runners lined up at the starting line, they anxiously await the sound of the starter pistol with their teammates, friends and family cheering them on.
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On your mark… Get set…

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Goooo!!
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Under the breath-taking sky, the runners rocket out of the starting line.
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During the Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN, the annual Hawaii local food festival, “WaikiKitchen” is held at Kapiolani Park for the runners and spectators, bringing people together with yummy food. 23_4x3 24_4x3
This year there was a Fitness Check booth to see where you stand in your age bracket. The booth consisted of standing long jump challenge, side step challenge, balance challenge and a flexibility challenge. The winner of the challenge got a stay at Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa! 25_4x3 26_4x3  
What motivated the runners more than anything was the cheer and smiles of all the volunteers which made everything so much more fun!

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Even the event staff was having a fun time…
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and while people are getting settle down the first team finishers ran across the finish line in record time!

The winning team was 93’s ALL STARS!!

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The 93’s ALL STARS turned out to be an all-star members of this year’s Hakone Ekiden in Japan. Hakone Ekiden is one of the most prominent university ekiden races of the year held in Japan on January. The 93’s ALL STARS consisted of the top runners from 4 universities!! No wonder they were so fast.
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The team ran the 25K course (15.5 miles) in a record breaking time of 1 hour 23 min and 58 sec., finishing 12 minutes before the 2nd place team. According to official records, one of the team members, Daichi Kamino’s best 5K time is approx. 14min. They were truly a super human team.
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But, what place you come in doesn’t really matter in this event. The event was created to bring people and laughter together, so whoever had a good time wins!
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We hope everyone had fun and hope to see your smile again next March!

A hui hou!