Summer is right around the corner, and it’s time to get back into shape. Why not run (or walk!) for a good cause?

No excuses – whether you’re fit enough to breeze through a 10k run or prefer leisurely strolling half that distance, you should sign up for this event. The perks are twofold: you get to work out with the gorgeous grounds of the Imperial Palace as a backdrop, and you are also helping a good cause supported by TELL.

TELL (Tokyo English Lifeline) has established itself across the country for being one of the very few non-profit organizations providing counseling, support, and psychotherapy to those in need – definitely something that is not talked about enough in Japan. The organization is dedicated to supplying world-class and effective support to Japan’s international community and helping to address the country’s growing mental health care needs.

You can select to either run 5 or 10 kilometers, or simply walk 5k – which is the exact length of a full lap circling the Imperial Palace. That path is increasingly popular for joggers and city-dwellers who wish to exercise with some sense of nature. The easy access (several subway and train stations are scattered on the loop) and great scenery make it a prime running spot.

Get there early, as the first 800 participants will receive the official T-shirt (pictured above is the 2011 design), and you also get the chance to win some special prizes. Rain or shine, lace up your sneakers and join the race!

Walk & Runathon (click for more info and to signup)

When: May 4, 9:00-12:00

Where: Imperial Palace (Registration: The Peninsula Tokyo loading dock area, Starting point: Sakuradamon)

How much: ¥3,500 per person/ ¥10,000 group of four