Dashing through the snow: Holiday fun runs 2016

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holiday fun run

Let’s face it, moms. This time of year can be hard on the waistline. We transition from Packer tailgate parties and Halloween candy to Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas cookies. (And don’t get me started on the number of calories in those adult beverages we’ll be toasting on New Year’s Eve!)

One fun way to keep our fitness goals in check during the holidays is by signing up for one (or more!) local fun runs. My daughter, who ran a 5K Reindeer Dash with me last December, is totally hooked. She’s already told me that she wants to run the two-mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning – even if the race course is covered in snow.

There’s a range of holiday-themed races and distances to choose from: some in Green Bay; some a short drive away; all for a good cause. But whether you’re looking to seriously pound the pavement or just take the kiddos for a festive stroll, there’s a race number with your name on it:

  • November 12: “Ugly Sweater” Run, Manitowoc. Not only do the fastest runners get prizes in this 5K or 10K event, awards also go to those sporting the ugliest sweaters as well as the teams with the most creative names. Bring the kids to see Santa! Event benefits the Autism Society of the Lakeshore.
  • November 22: “Santa Scamper,” Appleton. This one-mile race precedes the annual Appleton Christmas Parade down College Avenue. All ages are welcome, but please – no rollerblades or pets. Event benefits St. Joseph Food Program as registrants are asked to donate one nonperishable food item.
  • November 24: Festival Foods “Turkey Trot,” multiple cities. Start your Thanksgiving off right with a two- or five-mile run benefitting our local YMCA and Boys & Girls Club. Races will be held at 10 cities across Wisconsin, including Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh and Manitowoc. Walkers and strollers welcome; check online for info on the popular “Dog Jog.”
  • November 27: Noodles & Co. “Noodleini” Run/Walk, De Pere. Burn off those crazy calories with this fun run through scenic neighborhoods that benefits the West De Pere High School band. Distances are 5K or 15K. 
  • December 3: “Jingle Bell Run,” Green Bay. Put on some reindeer antlers and go off dashing through the snowy streets around UW-Green Bay campus. The 5K run/walk includes hot cocoa and an ugly sweater/holiday costume contest, and it benefits the Arthritis Foundation.
  • December 3: “Race for the Light,” Oshkosh. Participants who sign up to run the 5K through the seasonally decorated Menominee Park will receive a set of jingle bells and a commemorative ornament. Event benefits Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services. Wear an ugly sweater and check out the awesome light displays!
  • December 3: “Sleigh Bell” Run/Walk, Kiel. The 5K run and two-mile run/walk will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties and the Kiel High School cross country team. For younger kids, sign up for the 100-yard dash, the ¼-mile run or the free “reindeer games.”