As fall gets into full swing, so does planning for holiday celebrations, and many families’ traditions now include a holiday-themed run. Besides being a great way to make memories with family and friends, many holiday events also benefit charitable causes in the community at a time when giving back is on everyone’s mind. So grab a costume and your running shoes, and enjoy some of these favorite holiday runs in the Denver metro area.
Grab your pumpkin and make a run for it! The Great Pumpkin Haul is a crazy, fun combination of pumpkin picking and obstacle course racing. Participants begin at Chatfield Farm’s pumpkin patch where they choose a pumpkin (which can range from 10-40 pounds), have it weighed and then run the two-mile obstacle course carrying their prize!
The Mile High United Way Turkey Trot has been going strong for 43 years and attracts more than 20,000 gobblers, er, runners. And did we mention that you’ll be running toward a beer garden hosted by Great Divide Brewing Company at the finish line? Proceeds support the work of the United Way in the Denver community.
If you’re too busy basting on Thanksgiving Day, you’ll still have a chance to trot at the Leftover Turkey Trot in Longmont or the Community Food Share Turkey Trot in Boulder. Both are held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The Longmont event is a family-friendly 5K and money raised at the event is donated to several youth sports organizations.
Use clues along the course to find Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and save Christmas at the Rudolph Ramble 5K! Holiday attire, jingle bells and Santa hats are highly encouraged for this race, and the whole family is welcome, even your “search and rescue” dog.
Especially on a snowy December morning, City Park is a perfect setting for the Christmas Carol Classic 5K/10K, a Dickens-themed race. The course begins and ends at the pavilion and loops past the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Runners are transported back in time as carolers and a few ghosts of Christmas Past roam about the course.
Ugly sweaters have become as traditional as Christmas lights over the years, and the Ugly Sweater Run is your chance to show off your worst! Hot cocoa (or Kahlúa cocktails for the adults) and a giant snow globe await you at the finish line, and stick around for post-race shenanigans on the mechanical reindeer.
New Year’s Day
The Life Time Fitness Commitment Day 5K on New Year’s Day is the perfect way to kick off your resolutions for the new year with some action! This fun run is a chance to celebrate the healthy way of life with friends and family and start your new year on the right foot.
Love is in the air on the Saturday after Valentine’s Day at the Le Cours de L’ Amour (The Course of Love). Whether you run this 5K/10K with your beloved or go stag, everyone receives a big red rose at the finish line.
Or get your heart pumping at the Longmont Heart Throb Run (or their sister race in Arvada). Don’t miss the after-party at Shoes and Brews, a specialty running shoe store with a joint taproom/brewery with more than 20 Colorado craft beers. Use your race bib to score $2 pints plus deals on shoes and apparel.