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35000 Fans Turn Out for Nittai University's Hakone Ekiden Victory Parade

translated by Brett Larner

On Jan. 27, 2013 Hakone Ekiden winners Nittai University held a victory parade in Aoba, Yokohama to celebrate their first Hakone title in 30 years.  35000 fans, the most ever for a Hakone victory parade, turned out to share the team's joy.  All ten members of this year's winning team including captain Shota Hattori road in three open cars along with head coach Kenji Beppu, with the Nittai brass band and cheerleaders riding behind the team in two four-ton trucks and the Booster Club in a bus.  People were lined up six-deep along both sides of the road for the entire 3.1 km parade route from Aobadai Station to the university's Kenshidai campus.  An organizer laughed, "There are so many people it's like a replay of the Hakone Ekiden.  I'm totally surprised.  Things are going to get out of hand!"

Riding in the lead car and carrying the victory banner, Hattori vowed to win Hakone again, saying, "The support we've received from everyone here has given us all newfound power and motivation.  I'll never forget this scene.  I want to see it again next year."


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