The ASICS World Ekiden is back again! This time of the year is always exciting for our ASICS Runner Apps team, especially now that we’re spread out all over the world. (We’ve come a long way since our first small Boston office.) To inspire you to join in, we asked our coworkers what they enjoy most about past events.

You can connect with friends and family who live far away

“The ASICS World Ekiden relay is such a simple yet fun way to connect with my coworkers who are located all over. We created a team, pumped each other up in a group chat, and celebrated everyone’s leg of the race as they were completed. It felt like we were running together, even from afar.”  – Stephanie R.

“It’s so fun and meaningful to be able to feel a sense of camaraderie with friends you can’t necessarily run with in person due to distance!” – Sam D.

“I have participated in the ASICS World Ekiden relay for two years now and cannot wait to join again for year three! This virtual relay is such a fantastic way to connect with colleagues and friends across the globe, while also challenging yourself in a way that might be new for you.” – Hilary S.

“It was so much fun running a relay with friends from all over the world last year. Our six-person team had runners from Boston, Toronto, Los Angeles, Trinidad and Tobago, Philadelphia, and Cameroon. The camaraderie that we developed across international borders was awesome! I can’t wait to don the Tasuki for this year’s Ekiden!” – Carlo J.

Make memories, inside jokes, and partake in friendly competition 

Our team supported each other in getting in shape leading up to the event. Knowing that there were others on my team counting on me made me work that much harder on race day. It also added a fun little competitive spirit to the whole thing.” – Saul J.

“Last year our team — Team Having a Relay Good Time — had some laughs while choosing our team name and continued to share “punny” summaries as each of us completed our segments like, “I had a relay good time at lunch today” or “It was a relay scenic route,” which made the whole experience so fun.” – Hilary S.

You can pull a PR if you want to*

“The 2021 ASICS World Ekiden pushed me to a personal record 10K time—though in 2022 I’m gonna take my run slower to better enjoy the New England fall colors going by!” –  Chris D.

*But there’s no pressure. Go at your own pace!

“Last year’s event was my second race, and I waited until I could access a treadmill to complete my leg. It was helpful that I could complete my segment without holding my teammates back from completing theirs. I started my 10K leg around 3 a.m. the morning the Ekiden was closing because I knew I couldn’t let my team down. There were runners of all levels on my team and I didn’t feel the pressure I might have felt had I been at a large-scale in-person race.” – Whitneigh K.

“If you don’t want to run, you absolutely don’t have to! You can walk your leg or do a combination of running and walking. This is an inclusive relay race. Go at your speed, pace, and in your own time frame. No need to strive for personal bests (though you could if you wanted to). This is meant to be fun, not stressful!” – Cate H.

Embrace the spirit of a traditional Japanese sporting event, from wherever you are

“For a virtual race, it was a really immersive experience—with the audio cues reminding me about the symbolism of the Tasuki (sash worn by and passed between each runner on the team) and connecting my individual participation to a larger history of Ekiden races.” – Saul J.

“Last year’s race had a guided feel to it; it taught you the tradition and origins of Ekiden, which was really cool. Getting to learn a bit about the history of the event while running was a unique and interesting experience. Took the focus away from how tired I was!” – Vince R.