If watching the Tokyo-Hakone ekiden inspires you to test your own running ability, you could try your luck at a number of other races in the capital in January.
Beginners are probably best advised to try the Imperial Palace Challenge Marathon on Jan. 24, where professional coaches will be on hand to introduce stretching exercises before the race and offer tips on ways to achieve the perfect posture while running. Not only does this event provide professional trainers, but participants can choose the distance they feel most comfortable with — 5 km, 10 km or 20 km. The deadline for registration is Jan. 6.
On Jan. 23, runners that suffer from a sweet tooth should find themselves at Chocolate Run 2016, which will be held at Tokyo’s Yume no Shima Park. Although the event is popular with children, people young and old are encouraged to take part. The event features several “chocolate stations” throughout the course, in which participants can enjoy delectable sweets such as chocolate fondue. This year, the event has a special “Parent and Child Run,” in which children aged 6 and older can run alongside their parents. The deadline for registration is Jan. 11.
Finally, anyone wanting to try out an ekiden-style relay race of their own should check out Odaiba Run Run Run 2016 at Tokyo’s Symbol Promenade Park on Jan. 30. In this race, groups of four compete against each other over 5-km legs. The deadline for registration is Jan. 12.
For more information about running events in Japan and abroad in 2016, visit www.sportsentry.ne.jp. (Megan Green)