Naperville Turkey Trot
Nov. 28, Naperville, Ill.
The 16th annual event, organized by the Noon Lions Club in Naperville, has grown into one of the largest Thanksgiving Day races in Illinois. Registration is limited to 7,500 participants—and it has sold out the past three years. Why so popular? The family-friendly race features rolling hills through the scenic neighborhoods near Naperville Central High School, where the race starts and finishes. Runners receive long-sleeve technical T-shirts and enjoy a post-race pancake breakfast. Just save room for the turkey.
Dec. 7, Chicago
Learn just how hard it is for Santa to maneuver around with that hat and beard at the fifth annual Santa Hustle at Soldier Field. All participants will receive a Santa hat, beard and red long-sleeve technical T-shirt just like the big guy wears (or so we’ve heard). You’ll find Christmas music, candy and cookies to enjoy along the 5K course. The post-race festivities include a big party, and the race is an official drop-off site for Toys for Tots. The top three in each age group receive customized Santa Hustle medals, and awards will be given to the best group and individual Santa costumes.
Reindeer Run 5K
Dec. 7, Brookfield, Ill.
You’ll see actual reindeer—and a whole lot of other critters—at this 5K run, organized by the LaGrange YMCA and featuring a course through the Brookfield Zoo. Race entry includes admission to the zoo, parking, a race T-shirt and post-race goodies. The Brookfield Zoo will be decorated for the season, and a kid dash makes it a great event for all ages. Proceeds from the event benefit YMCA programs in the community.