Holidays Are For Running

From Halloween to New Years, we all tend to think a lot about holidays and food. Halloween is packed with candy, Thanksgiving is a huge spread of food for friends and families, and December brings lots of parties for Hanukah & Christmas. If you love food – this is always a fabulous time of year!

What about fitness? For me, holidays are also about running! For as long as I’ve been running, I’ve celebrated lots of holidays with a running race. It’s also a great family activity, as many offer running & walking options.

There are lots of choices, but here are some of the typical holiday races you’ll find:



  • Santa Run – Did you know Santa runs?! Sometimes in full costume and other times in a speedo, these look like a lot of fun. There’s one in Breckenridge that sound interesting. I wonder if Mrs. Claus ever runs with him?
  • Jingle Jog – If you don’t have a Santa costume, how about a more generic holiday theme? I’ve done a few of these where they even pass out little bells to tie to your shoes. Nothing says festive like lots and lots of bells jingling around you! To find race options in your area, try goggling Christmas, Hanukah, run, race, or some combination of those words. I’m looking at the Stocking Run in the Denver area.

  • Resolution Run – To wrap up the season, kick off the new year with a resolution run. These races often occur on New Years Day and often start a little later in the morning – yes, they know you were up late celebrating the night before. This is one holiday race I haven’t participated in yet – but it does sound fun!

Bonus: If you’re running a Thanksgiving race, consider also joining Racing For Relief to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Check out the full details on Mommy Run Fast.

Racing for Relief Virtual Run


If you don’t already have running races as part of your holiday traditions, this is a great year to start! It’s a great way to get the whole family moving, keep your motivation up for training during the business of the season, and maybe even accomplish a new goal.


Questions for you:

  • Are holiday races part of your family traditions?
  • Do you have any other “active” holiday traditions?
  • Do you have any races on your schedule through the New Year?

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  1. says

    If only I were staying in Charlottesville for Thanksgiving…maybe I could have run my first race. Sadly, I will be with my family in Georgia, where–thanks to your search tool–there are no Turkey Trots nearby. Luckily my sister is a BIG runner, and maybe we can just have our own. :)

    [I say sadly, but I am, of course, just being silly…family trumps running!]
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted…Cheater Pumpkin ChiliMy Profile

    • says

      There are a million races in Georgia, I bet Active is just not capturing them all. Check here:

      I’m a race pusher — get used to it! 😉

  2. says

    I’m signing up for a local Turkey Trot this year and I’ve got my cousin on board too – maybe even my parents for the walk. There’s also a Santa run at the beginning of December but I’m not sure about that just from a finances stand-point.
    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted…MemoriesMy Profile

  3. says

    I love this post! You’re so right – the holidays are about FOOD but also so much about MOVEMENT if you choose to engage in it! 😀 You know I don’t race much, but I’ve always wanted to ring in the New Year with a race and was trying to find some in our area. As far as active traditions go, our family doesn’t have many (except for a good walk after the meal) – more traditions around other aspects of shared time together. Mikey’s family always goes to Banff and goes tobogganing in the morning on Boxing d=Day and takes leftovers out to eat around an outdoor fire. Then we go to Lake Louise and ice skate/play pick up ice hockey all afternoon. So his traditions are a bit more active, and as good of shape as many people in my family are, when we’re together we drink black coffee and sit around and talk for HOURS. 😀

    …I think I might write a post on something similar and link to yours sometime soon – love this idea! Have a great day, Heather.
    Bonnie recently posted…Saturday ScenesMy Profile

    • says

      You could even map out your own resolution run and get your clients to do it with you!

      I love that Mikey’s family eats leftovers around an open fire, that’s so cool! Although sitting around, drinking coffee, and laughing sounds fun too. =)

  4. says

    I’ve never done any of the holiday races. We only recently got a Turkey Trot and it’s partially trail, sort of impromptu kind of thing. We do have a Jingle Bell run, but that’s about it. I find that with holidays I tend to have extra time for my runs at least (extra days off). I’ve kind of made it my own tradition to run on Thanksgiving and Christmas,
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted…Weekend Recap with Running, Girls’ Lunch, Lazy DaysMy Profile

  5. Angie @ Fitness Girl Kitchen says

    I love Turkey Trots and Jingle Jogs because they are so all-American to me! I think the most fun I’ve had in a Turkey Trot was when I was deployed. It was something little that brought us all together and reminded us of home.


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