Thursday, August 5, 2010


So because I have nothing real to do and because I'm actually interested in the ridiculousness that is FNS26時間テレビ, I've been watching it in pieces over the last several days. One part that has particularly caught my attention is the 24時間駅伝, which for all intents and purposes is probably a health risk to everyone involved. I'm not sure who came up with it--箱根駅伝 is run in the winter, people!--but I do have to admit that it is sort of inspiring to watch.

Anyway, I know this isn't the point and I may be the only person concerned about this (except you sherpa fans ;)), but I can't stop thinking about the staff members who run with the 11 assigned to complete the 211-km course. Some of them have medical tape and muscle relaxers all over their legs, and they have to keep pace with the runners while carrying their towels, water, and ice. They massage the runners and keep their spirits high, even though there is no one to do these things for them.

How often are they switched out? Did they also train for 4 months beforehand? Did they also have fitness and nutrition consultants to help them withstand the conditions? Are they possibly athletes who were hired for this specific purpose?

They don't seem to be all that tired compared to the actual runners, which suggests that they may be switched out every 5 to 10 km or so, but in general the staff looks a little beat up. I know I shouldn't care about this, but I really, really do.

They are truly 縁の下の力持ち.

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