Kakeru is a former elite runner who finds himself on hard times. After shoplifting food, he’s saved by Haiji, a Kansei University student and a fellow runner. Having nowhere else to go, Kakeru moves into a dormitory with Haiji and eight other strangers. Haiji then announces his plan to enter all ten of them in the Hakone Ekiden, a prominent university relay marathon. But aside from Haiji and Kakeru, few of the others have run competitively before.