Once a year that jolly old man up in the North Pole dons his red garbs, stretches out those leg muscles and runs a short 4km for charity in Tokyo. Huh?

On December 22, 5,000 Santas will make their way to Komazawa Olympic Park for the 2019 Tokyo Great Santa Run. They will run, walk, skip or stroll the 2km or 4km route in order to raise money for sick children staying in hospitals all over Japan and support needy children in Kenya.

While the running course is around 4km, there is also a shorter walking course at around 2km. Both courses can be completed in around 30 minutes. Celebrity cheerleaders will be on hand to support runners, and top athletes from the marathon world will serve as coaches.

In the spirit of the season the Tokyo Great Santa Run is by no means a competitive event to find the fastest Santa of the festivities, but instead a chance for people of all walks of life to get together in support of a good cause. Padoma, Marc Panther, Anna Tsuchiya and Maki Oguro will perform holiday songs, with Oguro debuting the Santa run’s official, original theme song, Santa Run Run Run.

Run or walk, this year’s Great Santa Run is expected to be the biggest one yet with live performances, games, activities and fun for the whole family and booths set up all around Komazawa Olympic Park.

The deadline to enter as a runner at this year’s Santa run is December 20, 2019, at 18:00. Register on the event website or check the TW online calendar for more information. The race is capped at 5,000 participants but at the moment a few spaces are still available so for those wanting to move their feet to a festive beat while dressed up as Santa better get typing.