National Women’s Ekiden
The National Varsity Women’s Ekiden will take place on Monday, January 8 from 12 noon in Tsukuba. You can watch the race live on TV Tokyo (Ch 12) from 11:50am. Expect traffic delays from noon until about 2pm.
Ekiden is a marathon relay race. Read more about the concept on Wikipedia.
The Tsukuba race is about 30 km in total, with 6 racers competing for each university. The first runner will start at Chuo Koen (the park with the pond near Expo Center and Tsukuba Public Library) and run for 5km to Meiki Gakuen (private school near the Cineplex movie theatres and Yamada Denki). The second runner will run the 3km to JAXA (space center), the third to the main administrative building at the University of Tsukuba (5.5km), the fourth to Oho Intersection (3.5km), the fifth to Tsukuba University Hospital (6km), and the sixth to the track and field grounds at the University of Tsukuba (7.67km). Here is a map of the course.
Here is the official website, although it is only available in Japanese.