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Food always seems to taste better right after getting in some exercise. Unfortunately, sometimes a long workout leaves you feeling starving and exhausted, which is a problem when you then have to go foraging for food after you leave the gym.

While I still haven’t found a gym that’ll reward you with a protein-packed steak for breaking your bench press max, or a pool that’ll hook you up with some sashimi after 1,000 meters of backstroke, there actually is a town in Japan that’ll give you a sack of rice for completing a 5K run. The only catch is, you’ve got to carry it with you during the race.

Tiny Ijimamachi is a city of less than 10,000 people in mountainous Nagano Prefecture. Like in many parts of rural Japan, agriculture is an important local industry, so much so that it’s even connected to Ijimamachi’s name, which means “rice island town.”

On November 9, Ijimamachi will be holding its second annual Komedawara Marathon. While the festivities don’t include a full marathon (Japan likes to use the term “marathon” for any long distance cross-country run), there are three courses for participants to choose from.

▼ Blue: 3.4-kilomter (2.1-mile) course
Red: 5-kilometer (3.1) course
Red/green: 10-kilometer (6.2) course

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The shortest run isn’t particularly unique, but the five and ten-kilometer races add a unique wrinkle: Runners carry a komedawara, or straw sac of rice, with them. Adult runners are given a five-kilogram (11-pound) bag, while those under 18 can choose between two and three-kilo (4.4- and 6.6-pound) komedawara.

Those sacks aren’t just a burden, though, but also an incentive to keep putting one foot in front of the other. The fastest runner for each course will receive a year’s worth of rice, and regardless of time, everyone who lugs the komedawara to the finish line gets to take that much rice home with them.

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Despite the cheery atmosphere and cosplaying runners (a staple of cross country runs in Japan), participants from last year say the Komedawara Marathon is no joke. A five-kilo sack of rice might not feel too heavy as you lift it from the grocery store shelf into your cart, or carry it up the stairs to your apartment, but it’s a different story when you’re running with it for an hour or more. To make things easier on themselves and let them swing their arms more freely, many runners choose to strap the komedawara to their backs with a harness, rather than carry it in their hands.

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If you’d like to run for your meal, the race is set to start at 10:25 a.m., rain or shine, on November 9. Registration opens August 1, with details available on the Komedawara Marathon website.

Related: Komedawara Marathon website
Sources: Japaaan, Komedawara Marathon
Images: Komedawara Marathon