It’s the holiday season in the Pacific Northwest, but there’s more to it than evergreens, sugar plumbs and gifts galore. This time of year, there’s no shortage of festive holiday runs, walks and plunges that can add a whole lot of fun and fitness to the celebratory days ahead. Here are just five of our favorites.
Seattle Turkey Trot (Seattle)
5K jog, walk or run
Nov. 26, 2015
There’s no better way to start this big eating day than with a quick 3.1 morning miles to at least make you feel like you’ve got some room to spare for a feast later on. The event, which draws out plenty of turkey costumes, is laid-back fun and also helps raise funds for the Ballard Food Bank.
Oregon’s Ugliest Sweater Run (Eugene)
Dec. 6, 2015
Not looking to get too serious this holiday seasons? Oregon’s Ugliest Sweater Run may be just the cheer you seek. Untimed and focused more on fun than run, this Eugene favorite encourages ugly Christmas sweaters and frequent stops at each of the “12 Days of Christmas” stations along the way.
Holiday Half Marathon and 5K (Portland)
Half marathon or 5K
Dec. 13, 2015
If you hit a wall on mile six of this festive half marathon, no worries. Course-side carolers will keep you at a spirited pace, and the promise of craft brews, egg nog, local food and a yuletide DJ at the finish will be all the carrot you need to power through.
Santa Runs (Tacoma)
Kids 1K, Frosty’s 5K, The Scrooge 10k or the Donner and Blitzen Half Marathon
Dec. 12, 2015
With holiday costumes and the perfect distance for any runner or walker, the annual Santa Runs in Tacoma offer something for just about everyone. Get the kids into the holiday spirit with a fun 1K or end your year on a high note with the Donner and Blitzen Half Marathon — any of these fun runs are sure to add some joy.
Polar Bear Plunge (Seattle)
Jan. 1, 2016
What better way to cleanse out the crud from the past year and prep for what’s to come than with a brisk plunge into the second-largest lake in the state of Washington on New Year’s Day. Seattle Parks and Recreation’s annual dip in the lake finds close to 1,000 chilly swimmers taking a wintry swim for a fun and festive start to the new year.