A Holly Jolly Footrace
December isn’t just about eggnog and cookies—it’s also a super-fun time to don your holiday best and enter a 5K. Festive holiday races are becoming a staple of many winter race calendars, with hundreds of events taking place across the country during the month of December. Dig out your Santa hat and ugly Christmas sweater and join your fellow fa-la-la fanatics at one of these fun runs.
A Christmas Story 5K And 10K
December 1 in Cleveland, Ohio
We double-dog…no, TRIPLE-dog-dare you to get into your pink bunny suit and join in the revelry at this race that celebrates everyone’s favorite holiday movie. The 5K ends at the famous Christmas Story house, where finishers can drink Ovaltine under the glow of a leg lamp and recite their favorite lines (“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”).
Boca PAL Holiday Mile
December 5 in Boca Raton, Fla.
Boca Raton has the right idea: The Florida city’s annual holiday parade kicks off with a 1-mile throwdown on the flat-and-fast Federal Highway. It’s an exciting scene—the spectators lining the street cheer almost as loudly as they do when Santa makes his appearance at the end of the parade.
Sweaty Sweater 4 Mile
December 8 in Fort Collins, Colo.
Grab your shoulder pads and dig out your most hideous, outrageous, over-the-top holiday sweaters! This 4-mile run and finish-line fashion show is a celebration of all things kitsch. Though the fashion may be tacky, the cause is not: Proceeds from the race go toward the purchase of grocery store gift cards for families in need.
Anthem Holiday Classic Triathlon
December 8 in Anthem, Ariz.
Consisting of a 400-meter heated pool swim, a beginner-friendly 20K bike course and a 5K run to the finish, the Holiday Classic is a great way to dip your toes into the triathlon waters this off-season. Bonus: Decorating your bike like a reindeer is not only allowed but encouraged.
Reindeer Romp 5K
December 8 in Fort Worth, Texas
Now in its 11th year, the Reindeer Romp has become a holiday tradition for many runners in Fort Worth. This family-friendly race features a 5K fun run as well as a half-mile kids’ dash, allowing everyone to don their antlers and get in on the festive fun.
Surf-n-Santa 5 Miler
December 15 in Virginia Beach, Va.
In 2016, more than 5,000 runners ho-ho-hoed their way to a Guinness World Record for the largest Santa Claus Run. If the free Santa costume doesn’t fill you with Christmas cheer, the finish-line beer tent (and a finisher’s medal that doubles as a bottle opener) will.
Atlanta Christmas 5K
December 22 in Atlanta, Ga.
If you’re looking for some extra holiday cheer, this race does it best. In addition to a free Santa hat in your swag bag, the race features cookies at the aid stations, hot cocoa at the finish line and a photo op with Santa. If you’re extra-good, the big guy might even grant you a qualifying spot at the iconic Peachtree Road Race.