April 5, 2023

HONOLULU (March 15, 2016) — The Honolulu Ekiden Foundation invites you to “Hoʻohui Paʻani” or “be united in play” at the Fourth Annual Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival. Last year, the Foundation brought over 1000 runners of all ages together for a marathon relay race and music festival, and once again welcomes runners to register for its 2016 event on May 22, 2016.

The Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival culminates in a star-studded concert at the Waikiki Shell, including just announced Japanese musical icon, Hiromi Go. The lineup also features international superstar group MAGIC!, whose smash hit “Rude” has topped the charts in eight countries and the all-girl Japanese pop-rock band sensation SCANDAL.

Participants of the relay are encouraged to register in two to six-member teams before May 16. The registration fee includes participation in the Ekiden race and admission to the nighttime music festival at the Waikiki Shell (tickets are first come first serve for the first 2,000 participants).

The Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival is the only of its kind in Hawaii, bringing Japanʻs Ekiden tradition of a marathon-length relay race to the islands. In ancient Japan, the Ekiden was a method to pass along important news from provinces to the capital with multiple messengers completing different segments of the journey. Today the event symbolizes teamwork and cooperation to achieve a common goal, with races held throughout Japan.

It is the goal of the 2016 Ekiden to promote tourism to the Islands, foster cultural understanding between the residents of Hawaii and Japan and provide a way for friends, co-workers, running and military groups together in a race that fosters teamwork, competition and most importantly fun.

About Hiromi Go

Hiromi Go made his debut as a singer with the 1972 single “Otokonoko Onnanoko,” and was catapulted to top idol status. In addition to his career as a musician, he has appeared in TV dramas and has seen success in music programs and talk shows. After the ‘80s, he released such big hit tracks as “Aishu no Casablanca” and “Nioku Yonsenman no Hitomi,” taking his career in a new direction. During the 90’s and on, had huge success with the ballad  “Aitakute Shikatanai,” along with dance tunes such as “GOLDFINGER ’99.” In 2002, he took a break from his musical career and lived in New York for three and a half years. In April 2005, with the release of the single “Ai Yori Tsuyoku,” he officially restarted his musical career, and since then, has strongly continued on.

Race Format 

The 26.2-mile course is divided into six sections. Relay teams can consist of two to six participants. The race will begin with the first member of the team at the start line wearing the team sash. There will be three relay stations to delineate each section of the race, where team members must transfer the sash to the person who will complete the next section. For teams with fewer than six members, each member may complete more than one section. However, multiple sections must be completed consecutively by the same person (i.e., runner #1 can complete sections 1 and 2, but not 1 and 3). Every sash contains an electronic chip that will register at each relay station. Teams must complete sections 1, 2, and 3within three hours; thereafter, sections 4, 5, and 6 must each be completed within an hour. Thus, the maximum allowed duration to complete the entire course is six hours.

Ekiden Schedule

  • 4 a.m. – Assemble at starting line
  • 5 a.m. – Opening Ceremony
  • 5:30 a.m. – Race start

“Ho’ohui Pa’ani” (be “united in play”)

  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • 10:00 a.m. – Awards Ceremony

Concert Schedule

  • 4:45 p.m. – Gates Open
  • 5:45 p.m. – Concert begins

For more information or to register, please visit www.hnlekiden.org.

Runners must pick up race day information packets and sashes for team entrants at the 2016 Honolulu Ekiden Expo, held on May 21st at the Hawaii Convention Center, 3rd floor from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Late registration will be accepted on May 21, 2016.

About Honolulu Ekiden Foundation

The Honolulu Ekiden Foundation was formed on Jan. 3, 2013 to promote the advancement of peace and social welfare among people in the Pacific Rim, including Hawaii and Japan in particular, through amateur sports and cultural activities. The Ekiden and concert will provide recreation, exercise, entertainment, cultural exchange, and an economic boost to the local community.

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