A Marathon Rivalry!
Continuing toward Daybreak Town and Dawn's next Pokémon Contest, Ash and our gang meet up with a Snorlax that is exercising on a trampoline. Snorlax is being "scientifically trained" by its Trainer—a boy named Daniel. Daniel uses sophisticated methods and monitoring equipment to train his Pokémon, as the look of his physically fit Snorlax shows. Ash believes that tuning into a Pokémon's feelings is the superior way to train, but Daniel disagrees. When Ash challenges Daniel to a battle, Daniel informs our heroes of the Pokéathlon, which will be held that very day there in Camellia Town! Ash agrees to enter the sports event and compete against Daniel, among many other Trainers.
Ash and Daniel tie in the first round. The second round is only an exhibition performance. The third round is to be a challenging Hurdle Dash! Ash is excited at the prospect, but a disguised Team Rocket has set up a massage center, and asks both Daniel and Ash to leave their Pokémon there for a "relaxing massage"—with the real purpose of stealing Pikachu and Daniel's Snorlax! Daniel manages to free Pikachu from Team Rocket's grip, and the two Trainers are finally set to see their Pokémon compete in the Hurdle Dash. They stay neck-and-neck the whole way, but eventually Snorlax wins...by a belly!
When Ash congratulates Daniel and says his "scientific training" merits a closer look, Daniel sheepishly tells Ash that he is now more interested in a training style that concentrates on his Pokémon's feelings! So, with new friendship and mutual respect, Daniel says goodbye to our heroes, and they continue toward Daybreak Town.