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.

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