Many serious and semi-serious runners know the fall as “fall marathon season,” but for the not-so-serious runners, the non-runners, and even the serious runners just looking to kick back and have a good time after, before, or instead of a fall marathon, the holiday season is also known as “theme race season.” Whether you love to travel, or run your local 5k, you can bet there is a theme race near you in the coming months. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. The Haunted Half – Provo, UT – October 25th, 2014
If the half-marathon distance seems a little daunting, feel free to participate in the 5k. As with any halloween themed race expect to see some fantastic costumes and be entertained for 13.1 miles. What really puts this race over the top is the simplicity of the course. With a fairly significant net drop, participants can focus on having a good time instead of straining to finish.
2. Straw Maze Race – Rexburg, ID – October 25th, 2014
The Rexburg Straw Maze has become a must visit fall attraction in Southeastern Idaho over the last few years. The popularity of the maze spawned the idea for the inaugural Straw Maze race this year. The Straw Maze Race is not a set distance, and there is no set time limit. Participants will enter the maze in waves, and solve the maze as fast as they can. The top finishers will be determined by chip time. So even if you are a casual runner, you may still have a shot at winning. The Straw Maze Race will be a family friendly event as well featuring a post race halloween carnival and tons of great prizes.
3. Cottonwood Heights Thanksgiving Day 5K – Cottonwood Heights, UT – November 27, 2014
More people hit the roads for an early morning jog on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year . . . that may be a made up statistic, but Turkey Trots have become EXTREMELY popular. The Reason we like the Cottonwood Heights Thanksgiving Day 5K is because they hopped on the Turkey Trot bandwagon before anyone else did. Claiming to be Utah’s longest “running” Thanksgiving day event, the inaugural race took place in 1985. Taking part in the 29th version of the race is a great way to celebrate a day where we honor history . . . and stuff our faces.
4. Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot – San Jose, CA – November 27, 2014
There are a lot of HUGE Turkey Trot’s out there. However this one tops them off. Last year it was the largest timed Turkey Trot in the country with 19,432 finishers. Not only is it the largest, but it is also arguably the fastest. Last year’s winning time was a blazing 13:33 for the men and 15:28 for the women. This race also gives you two reasons to feel good on Thanksgiving morning. Not only do you get some mileage in before pigging out, but the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot has also raised about 3.4 million dollars for local charities.
5. Utah Santa Run – Salt Lake City, UT. – November 22, 2014
The holiday theme race season always seems to start off promising with great Halloween themed races, then there are Thanksgiving day races that may be lacking in theme, but make up for it in tradition and quality. However, Christmas never seems to deliver in the holiday theme race category. There is plenty of potential. Perhaps it is the dropping temperatures, or just that people are done with holiday themed races, who knows. One thing we do know is that the Utah Santa Run is trying to breathe new life into the Christmas themed race. Complete with Holiday music throughout the race, volunteer elves, and Santa suits for EVERY participant with their registration, don’t be surprised to see an army of Santas take to the streets of Salt Lake on November 22. For those planning holiday travel on the 22nd, the Ogden edition of the Utah Santa Run will take place on November 29. If November is too early for you to dress up in a Santa suit, then suit up in Provo on December 6th.
6. Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis – Chicago, IL, – December 14, 2014
The Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis has something for everyone. Participants can choose between 5k and 10k distances, there will also be a youth 5k. Have small children under the age of 6? They may not be able to run but they can come and get chased by Santa. This is a great family oriented race to make a part of your family’s Christmas tradition, and in the spirit of the Holidays, all of the proceeds go to the Arthritis Foundation.
Whether you are a competitive runner, a casual runner, or you have never run a step in your life, these races will provide a great time. Some of these races are RunnersOnTheGo.com exclusive events, which means that you can access discounts to them at www.RunnersOnTheGo.com. Enjoy your holiday racing!