And it looks like their numbers have increased!

The Hakone Ekiden is one of the biggest marathons in Japan. Teams of collegiate runners run a relay from Tokyo to Hakone and back again over two days, covering a distance of 218 kilometers (135 miles). The run is special because it follows Route 1, which is part of the Old Tokaido Road that messengers used to take to deliver messages between Edo and Kyoto in feudal times, so it embodies a tradition of Japan that is beloved by all.

Many people who live nearby gather along the road to cheer on the runners as they pass by. And of course, this is Japan, so there will be people in silly costumes hoping their crazy antics will help encourage the athletes, and for the Hakone Ekiden the most famous is a group of men in Frieza costumes who cheer on the runners with various dances.

▼ They’re famous enough that a passerby in a speaker car recognized and called out to them!

They’ve previously danced with a Chinese dragon and done Exile’s Choo Choo Train dance as well as 2017’s hit Koi Dance, among other things. This year, they’ve opted to do the dance to “Paprika“, the Japanese kid’s song that parents couldn’t get their kids to stop singing last year.

▼ They were also spotted doing the can-can.

Interestingly, Frieza’s ranks seem to have increased since last we reported on their appearance at the marathon. This year they have added a strange non-cannon orange Frieza, with what looks like a salmon filet for a head, as well as Majin Buu, one of the major villains of the Dragon Ball Z series (and one of the allies in Dragon Ball Super).

▼ The orange Frieza has “Reiwa” written on his head.

Japanese netizens, of course, were happy to see them again:

“The Reiwa one lol”
“They were there this year? I didn’t see them lol”
“I couldn’t see them on TV so I’m so happy I got to see them all in a row here! Thank you!”
“Huh? haha wait lol Majin Buu was also there? I missed it!”
“I’m really impressed by how they spend a whole day to go all the way to Hakone to support the runners.”

They may look silly doing ridiculous dances in their handmade costumes, but their antics are definitely appreciated! Lots of people clamored to take a photo with them at the event, and they’re always remembered and looked for every year, so their support for the athletes as well as their comedy are obviously beloved! Besides, everyone loves a good cosplay, even if it’s just casual fun.

Source: Twitter/@iyaaaom via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@iyaaaom

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