5 Reasons Even the Grinchiest Runners Should Sign Up for a Holiday Race

fri5turkeyThough the regular race season might be winding down for those of us blessed enough to live in colder regions of the US (Florida, we are jealous) that doesn’t mean you can’t get in a few more before the jam-packed holiday madness begins. In fact, what better way to head into this busy time of year than with a holiday-themed race?

What’s that? Themed races aren’t your thing? That’s all about to change. Here are the top 5 reasons even the most hard-core competitive runner should sign up for a holiday race.

1. Competition Light

We’re all at least a little competitive. I mean, that’s one of the reasons we race, right? Running in a holiday race is a great way to feed that competitive spirit without the pressure of having to make the podium or perform our very best. Use a holiday race as a way to practice a specific pace or to gauge your fitness, or enter a smaller local race to boost your self-esteem by sailing past the competition and placing in your age group.

2. Awesome Holiday-Themed Race Swag

Deny it all you want, but you know you love getting that swag bag at the registration table, and holiday runs never disappoint. From race shirts that look like Santa’s suit, to turkey-shaped hats, to menorah-shaped finisher medals; the swag for these races is unique and fun.



3. Holiday-Themed Treats

Who doesn’t love post-race snacks? At holiday-themed races, the treats are extra spectacular. Giant turkey legs, carafes of hot cocoa, candy canes, gelt, pumpkin pie, latkes, Christmas cookies, bagels and lox; these are just a few of the delicious goodies you can nosh on after sweating it out on the course. Go ahead, you earned it!


4. Costumes

Oh, the costumes. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking, but we see it all at these races: Santa, reindeer, dreidels, pilgrims, and turkeys take to the streets, providing miles of entertainment for runners and spectators alike.

IMG_65965. Get Yourself Hungrier for Holiday Meals

Before you head over to grandma’s house to gather around the Festivus Pole and stuff your face with ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, brisket, and lasagna (a Christmas staple in my Italian family), you can rest easy knowing you incinerated hundreds of calories earlier that morning. Heck, you can even treat yourself to seconds or if you do a long run make it thirds! After all, it is the holidays!

Are you a turkey trotter or a jingle bell jogger? Do you wear poultry hats or santa socks? Now’s the time to fess up and tell us all about your holiday race love! 

I’m a runner, CrossFitter, and coach. I write about 5ks, strength training and nutrition. My current goals are to PR in my 5k and continue to grow in my strength conditioning.

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  1. I don’t do turkey hats or santa socks, but I like racing this time of year because it’s so low-key. I’ve run PRs a few times during this time. My 5 mile PR to this day is from a turkey trot! It IS lower pressure and the weather is cooler. Plus, if you’re not feeling a race-race you can run with family and friends instead. Oh, and the prizes are usually fun too! I still use the Reindeer Run blanket I won a few years ago for my daughter on chilly stroller runs 🙂

  2. I love me a good turkey trot. The one in my town sells out in days – very popular. I will admit though that I’m totally gunning for a PR this year :o)

  3. I PR’d in the Halloween themed race, won’t be in town for our Turkey race, but am totally going to do a Jingle Bell run in December. Holiday races are the best!