International Space University Takes on Ekiden

“ISU MSS18 students of the International Space University (ISU) led by visiting professor Gongling Sun braved the elements of wind, rain and the cold by competing in Ekiden de Strasbourg” reports Kwasi Nkansah an MSS18 participant.



Ekiden de Strasbourg Kickoff with Prof Gonglin Sun (left)

“Ekiden (駅伝) is a long-distance relay race that has its origins in Japan. The Strasbourg hosted Ekiden challenge involves teams of 6 runners competing to finish a marathon distance of 42.2 km. ISU visiting professor Gongling Sun and five classmates from the ISU’s Master of Space Studies MSS18 formed the ISU team. The race this year involved an aesthetic stroll through the beautiful grounds of the Esplanade region along with the lively Rivetoile area.


Relay Race Transition Between Runners Wenjing (right) and Josh (left)

Gongling Sun kicked off the race with a 26 minute, 5-km run. Sun was followed by Shan Huang who finished 10-km in 50 minutes. Third, Wenjing Hu tackled 5-km in 29 minutes. Fourth, Josh Lalonde dominated his 10-km section in 48 minutes. Next, Wenhua Gu completed his 5-km section in a fantastic time of 25 minutes. Finally, Kwasi Nkansah took the final 7.2-km section with a time of 38 minutes.


MSS18 Crossing the Finish-line at Ekiden

The Masters of Space Sciences program by the International Space University supports a holistic learning environment where the mind, body, and spirit is engaged in learning. Inside and outside the classroom, students are encouraged to challenge themselves to be interdisciplinary and intercultural. On Sunday October 29th 2017 MSS18 students battled through a difficult physical challenge, but gained much more.   

The actual word Ekiden itself has its roots in the ancient Japanese practice of transferring important messages across the country in stages. For these MSS students, Ekiden was a symbol of crossing cultural barriers and physical limitations as a team. It isn’t a stretch to say that an international team of similar capabilities will be robust as mankind explores space.”

“Beyond your own reasoning, there is an undiscovered world” – Josh Lalonde    
Article Credits:
Blog: Kwasi Nkansah
Pictures: Wenjing Hu, Xi Chen