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Ekiden Long-Distance Relay Running

Ekiden is long-distance relay running, typically held on roads. The term Ekiden originated in Japan, where such long distance relay events are popular.

The lengths of races can vary greatly, as can the number of runners on a team. The total race distances may cover hundreds of kilometers. Runners carry a cloth sash that they pass to the next runner.

The world's longest relay race is Japan's Prince Takamatsu Cup Nishinippon Round-Kyūshū Ekiden, which covers 1,064 kilometers (661 miles), leaving from Nagasaki. There was a World Road Relay Championships held every two years from 1992 until 1998, involving teams of six to covering a total marathon distance.

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