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Races and events

Season’s stridings

Holiday themed sweater illustration
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Join us as we take a lap around the U.S. for some of the most festive races.

The holiday season is finally here. Are you ready to deck your shoes with boughs of holly? How about some festive lights or jingly bells? To bring a little extra joy to the run, we are highlighting five races across the U.S. that embody the holiday spirit. Come with us as we explore these running events in the Northeast, South, Midwest, West, and Hawaii.

US map with holiday races


The Holiday Dash 5K is a local tradition in Portland, Maine. Every year, nearly 400 runners and walkers gear up in festive attire and brave cold winter weather to run along the scenic Eastern Pom Trail. Proceeds from this event support Portland Trails and the city’s 70-plus mile trail network.

Illustration of Maine Holiday Dash 5K with beer and Brooks mitten


Don we now our gaudy apparel and get ready to run the Ugly Sweater 5K. This race in Forest Acres, South Carolina benefits Friends of the Met CAC, a non-profit that provides services to children of all ages who are victims of physical and sexual abuse, neglect, and other maltreatment. Be sure to register your pup for the Best Dressed Pet competition, too.

Close up of South Carolina with two ugly Christmas sweaters


Run, run, Rudolph to the Jingle Bell Run in Chicago, Illinois. This 5K invites runners and walkers to dress up in festive attire and feel good about doing good. All money raised from this race goes to help battle the number one cause of disability: arthritis. Dogs are welcome, and the event includes timed, untimed, and virtual races.

Close up holiday-themed illustration of Illinois with ornament and gingerbread cookie under Jingle Bell Run sign


If you’re looking for a race that has new PR potential this winter, the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon might be your ticket. This fast course features a 711-foot elevation drop along a downhill bike path, stunning views along Carmel Mountain Road, and a finish at the gorgeous Torrey Pines State Beach.

Close up illustration of California with San Diego Half Marathon sign and Brooks' Run Merry shoes


The iconic Honolulu Marathon is an excellent holiday challenge, and we can guarantee this winter race will be sans snow. The course takes runners through downtown Honolulu and features landmarks like Ala Moana Boulevard, Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, and more. Mele Kalikimaka.

Holiday-themed illustration of Hawaii with marathon medal and Honolulu Marathon sign

Run happy holidays

There might not be a better way for runners to get into the holiday spirit than participating in a fun, festive race. Give yourself the gift of extra cheer and extra miles this year. And don’t forget some festive gear, too. The Run Merry collection will make your runs the most wonderful of the year.

For more holiday (and anytime) running stories, visit the Run Happy Blog.