There’s no better way to spread holiday cheer—and atone for all those Christmas cookies—than by participating in a holiday-themed road race. In recent years, a smattering of fun and festive holiday 5Ks has cropped up in cities across the country. Combining lighthearted music, costumes and seasonal food and drinks, these 5Ks make running 3.1 miles more “holly jolly,” less “bah humbug.” To get you in the spirit of the season, here are a few of our favorites.
Ugly Sweater Run 5K, Numerous Locations
You’ve heard of ugly Christmas sweater themed parties, but how about an ugly sweater themed 5K? The Ugly Sweater Run, which playfully bills itself as “the ugliest 5K on the planet,” is a fun, light-hearted way to ring in the holidays. Don your tackiest, most atrocious holiday sweater, and hit the ground running. Afterwards, the sweater-wearing masses convene underneath a large inflatable Christmas tree to celebrate their hard-earned accomplishments with unlimited hot chocolate and plenty of Sam Adams lager. Cheers to that!
Rockin’ Reindeer Run 10K/5K, Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Traveling to Sin City for the holidays? Grab a pair of antlers and a red nose and come out for the inaugural Rockin’ Reindeer Run, benefitting Toys for Tots. In true Las Vegas fashion, this no-holds-barred event combines plenty of music, food and fun—plus an 11:00 am start time, so club-goers can squeeze in a little extra shut-eye before hitting the pavement. After the event, head to the Roadrunner Saloon and replenish your spirits with some much-deserved holiday drinks and food specials.
Jingle Bell Run/Walk, Numerous Locations
The Jingle Bell Run/Walk 5K, a holiday race series presented by the Arthritis Foundation, is a festive way to get fit and support a great cause while you’re at it. In this spirited and non-competitive race, you’ll deck out in your best holiday-themed garb and tie bells to your shoelaces, so you’ll jingle all the way to the finish line.
Christmas Carol Classic, Denver, CO
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Held in Denver, the annual Christmas Carol Classic offers holiday fun for athletes of all ages and athletic abilities. This festive event, which comprises a 5K, 10K and a “Tiny Tim” 1K for the little ones, is nod to Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. Both the start and finish lines will be lined with Christmas Carolers decked out in full Dickensian garb. Afterward, runners can replenish with a mug of hot cocoa or hot-spiced cider. All race participants are encouraged to bring a wrapped gift to benefit the Denver Children’s Home, an organization dedicated to assisting traumatized children and families.
Santa Hustle Race Series, Numerous locations
Santa Clause is coming to town—actually, thousands of Santa Clauses are coming to town, to be exact. During the Santa Hustle 5K, held in various locations across the nation, an army of runners dressed in Santa costumes will hit the streets for a not-to-be-missed seasonal event. With numerous candy and cookie stations dotting the course, and upbeat Christmas music serenading you every step of the way, you’re sure to get your fill of festive cheer. Plus, all race participants receive a free Santa hat, beard and customized shirt.