‘Tis the Season: Five Festive Fun Runs to Tackle this Season

November 19th 2018 | Callie Sierra

The holiday season is here! This year, why not celebrate it with something that you can feel great about, like a festive fun run!?

Holiday sweets abound this time of year; an organised run might inspire you with a dose of healthy, outdoor, physical activity with others. Many festive fun runs also support important charities and causes, which can also boost your spirit this holiday season.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of runs to choose from. Many of them are short, some include fun costumes and all of them promise to be a memorable, positive experience this season, whether you run alone, with a running club, corporate group, or with friends and family. In this post, we share five festive fun runs to tackle this season. Ready, set, ho ho ho!!

Mental Elf: Run then Shop! (December 2)

Mental Elf is an annual 5K fun run in Witton Country Park for people of all ages and abilities. What makes this run special is that Lancashire Mind, the organisers, encourage all participants to dress in elf outfits, as an individual or as part of a group costume. Mental Elf is a true fun run; the goal is simply to get you out and about to enjoy activity and fun with others. Lancashire Mind’s vision is mental wellbeing for all and the charity promotes physical exercise as one way to help reduce depression and anxiety. There’s also a Festive Market at the park for those who wish to do a little holiday shopping before or after the run. The event is free and open to all. Sign up for Mental Elf here.

 

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London Santa Dash: Fun in Costumes! (December 5)

Now in its 8th year, the London Santa Dash provides all participants with a head-to-toe Santa Claus costume for the 5K festive run that takes place around London. The route goes from Old Spitalfields Markets past iconic London landmarks. The run is perfect for people of all ages and levels, and the organisers welcome individuals as well as teams of up to ten Santas. You could form a team with your workmates or encourage your entire family to participate for a little something different this holiday. Tickets are £25 and include the Santa costume; don’t forget to grab a medal and drink when you finish! Money raised will support Brainwave, a charity that helps children with disabilities. Register for the London Santa Dash here.

Santa in the City: Run for a Good Cause (December 6)

Like the London Santa Dash, Santa in the City provides runners with a Santa costume as part of your registration and race fee. The 5K route has quite the send-off: it begins on the north side of the Millennium Bridge, over the Thames and with a nice Tower Bridge view, and passes many iconic sites along the way. The organisers encourage both individuals and groups to participate and each place costs £23 + booking fee (from £2.35/place), though runners must be at least 8 years old. What’s nice about Santa in the City is that you have the option to run for a charity called the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, which brings together businesses, employees, communities, and charities to find solutions to pressing societal issues. If you’re feeling brave, why not try both the London Santa Dash followed by Santa in the City the following day!  Register for Santa in the City here

 

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Willen Hospice Santa Dash: A Shorter (and Dog-Friendly) Race (December 16)

The Willen Hospice Santa Dash takes place on the Willen Hospice grounds and encourages runners of all levels to participate, either to walk around the lake while chatting with friends or to dash as fast as possible around the lake. It’s up to you! At about 2K in length, the race is shorter than other 5K fun runs and you can even bring your dog along for the race. While the route is short, it’s one that you can feel good about. The charity says that it needs to raise £9 every minute to provide specialist palliative care; your race fee goes a long way to help Willen Hospice reach its goal. Register here to support Willen Hospice.

Edinburgh Santa Run: For a Festive Scotland Outing (December 9)

Looking for a race in Scotland? Consider the 2.5K Edinburgh Santa Run, which takes place in West Princes Street Gardens. You could plan an entire day or weekend outing around the race, to see the festive activities and sights around Edinburgh. You can feel good about this race, too – money raised will go to When You Wish Upon a Star, a charity that helps grant wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.  In addition to an entry fee, the organisers ask that runners also raise a minimum sponsorship of £25. But don’t worry about meeting your goal, the charity offers some great tips and tools on its fundraising page. And, for every £25 you do raise, you’ll be entered into a draw for a luxury week at a Scandinavian style lodge in Cornwall. What a Christmas gift that would be! Register here for the Edinburgh Santa Run.

 

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No matter which run you decide to do, why not consider an early holiday gift to yourself or your running mates with customised running merchandise? Often, holiday fun runs become a special tradition; you can design festive yet functional gear for your whole family to wear at the race year after year. Many of the items we create at the Charity Clothing Company can be made at a low cost and quickly enough to reach you in time for your favourite holiday run. Fun ideas include customised, holiday-inspired sweatbands, which are retro cool again, or  customised, ergonomic water bottles. We hope to see you out and about at some of these great festive runs this holiday season. Which other ones are you planning to run?