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Old Man Winter is about to blast his icy breath down our collective necks, but at least we get to ring in the season of sniffles, frostbite and influenza with a great lineup of holidays, highlighted by Christmas and New Year’s, and then my personal favorite, Nail-Clipping Day, on Jan. 7.

Yet, there’s one more celebration you should add to your holiday calendar, a festival as “Japanesey” as it gets and one that will happen not once but several times throughout the chilly weeks ahead — ekiden — the festival of the long distance runners.

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