Locals, visiting Japanese come together for relay race, concert

The Fourth Annual Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival was held at Kapiolani Park Sunday.

The event brings Japanʻs Ekiden tradition of a marathon-length relay race to the islands, symbolizing teamwork and cooperation to achieve a common goal.

“Our particular team wasn’t especially fast,” said Ron Alford, “so the heat affected us more, I guess.”

“There’s about 1,200 people here today,” said Miki Gonzalo of the Honolulu Ekiden Foundation, “about 500 from Japan, including runners and big fans of famous singers from Japan. … So fun to see the Japanese people here mixing with the Hawaiian and local people. It’s just great. A lot of positive energy.”

After the race, local and Japanese entertainers provided music at the park’s bandstand.

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