The holidays are upon us, which means the holiday races in Northeast Florida are open for registration. Run one, or run them all, but don’t miss out on the fun events the area has to offer!
Community First Thanksgiving Distance Classic (November 25, Pickwick Plaza)
Whether you take on the 5K or the half marathon, you’ll be in great shape for the Thanksgiving festivities later in the day. The Thanksgiving Distance Classic is a Northeast Florida staple, and it’s worth getting up for the 7:00AM start time. Somehow, Thanksgiving doesn’t feel right without a pre-dinner race. Will I see you there?
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Festival of Lights 5K (December 4, San Marco Square)
While I don’t typically tend to love evening races, the Festival of Lights is different, simply because of all the holiday lights. Runners support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, while enjoying 3.1 miles through the luminary-lit streets of the historic San Marco area. Beautiful and for a good cause? It’s the perfect holiday combination!
Sandy Claus Full and Half Marathon (December 5, Nocatee)
The Sandy Claus is a smaller event, with a full marathon, a half marathon, a 10K and a one mile fun run. Set in Nocatee, it’s beautifully appointed, with a fantastic course and plenty of post-race amenities (I do recall chili, macaroni and cheese, and ice cream). If you’re looking for a longer distance, you won’t be disappointed in the Sandy Claus events.
Gingerbread Man 5K Dash (December 11, SilverLeaf)
I’m not sure how it happened, but then Gingerbread Man 5K Dash is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. In addition, it will move from its original location in WGV to the new Silverleaf Community. Friends, I am all about running new courses, and earning ginberbread swag, so yes, I see this 5K in my future. Runners get t-shirts, medals and a gingerbread cookie for their efforts, so don’t miss it.
Santa Suits on the Loose 5K (December 11, St. Augustine Beach Pier)
With an in-person and virtual option, Santa Suits on the Loose promises to be a great time. The first 100 runners get an actual Santa suit in which to run, and all proceeds go to benefit St. Augustine Youth Services. This is another race celebrating 10 years, which is just so phenomenal! Are you in?
Starlight 5K Bridge Run/Walk (December 18, Veteran’s Park)
Runners will have to travel south to Flagler Beach for the Starlight 5K Bridge Run/Walk, but it’s so worth it. Again, we are looking at an evening event, but it’s a beautiful one, involving the intercoastal bridge, an over water nature trail, and the fully decorated Veteran’s Park. Head over to the beach afterwards to see the ocean by moonlight, for a truly spectacular evening.
Ultimate Racing New Year’s Rockin’ 5K (January 2, Beachwalk)
Who doesn’t love a race to ring in the new year? J and I tried this event last year, and I really enjoyed it. Beachwalk is a fabulous, flat venue, and I loved the finish line mimosas, bright medals, and fabulous “beach” front venue for photos. Plus, it’s always great to start January with a fun 5k! I’m in!
What holiday races are you planning this year? Ever run in a Santa Suit?
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Lisa @ Mile by Mile says
You have alot of holiday races near you! I only know of a couple around here and will need to how how the timing will work out. Its so much fun to do a festive race this time of year!
So jealous. I want to come visit you and run all the races.
We have a holiday lights 5k. That is a fun one. Otherwise it’s an off season until spring.
We have plenty of space and enthusiasm!
Deborah Brooks says
how fun that you have so many options to keep moving this holiday season. I like the idea of a beach walk on New Year’s Day sounds perfect
Well, BeachWalk is this crazy community near me. It’s thousands of homes, and the concept is that the neighborhoods are built around a manmade beach and crystal blue lagoon. There’s a swimming area and kayak launch, swim-up bar, etc. It’s visually stunning, but also so weird because it’s just not natural (the blue comes from a liner in the bottom of the lagoon). That being said, it’s a nice place to run, so there’s that.
These all sound SO FUN! I’ve ever run in a Santa suit and I don’t really want to- ha ha- but I love the idea of holiday-themed races. I’m definitely running a Turkey Trot this year and I think I’ll have to look into some other races in my area. Thanks for the inspiration!
Love the Sandy Claus glitter nails
Something about warm weather holiday runs that make them even more fun. I did the Delray Jingle Jog one year and admired those who could do the Santa suits.
That Starlight race over the bridge sounds beautiful!
You have so many races, I would want to do them all. I have a half marathon and a 12k for this year. Not holiday-themed, but that’s fine.
Kimberly Hatting says
You are lucky to have so many options for holiday racing. There used to be two races I ran every year, and both went “poof” a few years ago. Another one, Jingle Bell Run (for the Arthritis Foundation) no longer has an Iowa venue. UGH. There are some small 5K’s I’ve seen (via frantically searching online) but none are nearby. A bunch of of, though, rally every year on New Year’s Day and run at the lake (and maybe have champagne afterwards).
Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says
What a great resource! I have never traveled down to Florida for the holidays but I so wish I could – I think it would be fun to get to do any of these races!
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