Run or Dye San Francisco
Dec. 14; San Francisco & San Diego
Embrace your bright personality and flair with this nationwide color run series, which hits San Francisco and San Diego on the same day in December. (Those are two of a dozen Run or Dye events planned in California in 2014.) With every kilometer comes a different shade of corn starch, but nothing trumps the finish-line rave, where every participant can rip into their own personal packet of color and toss it into the air. Kids six and under get to enjoy the rainbow for free, so bring the whole family and enjoy a untimed 5K event sure to satisfy the whole clan.
Summit Rock Half Marathon, 10K and 5K
Dec. 14; Saratoga, Calif.
Experience the California Redwoods right outside of Silicon Valley and run 13.1 lush miles on singletrack trails through Sanborn County Park. This beginner-friendly event has something for everyone: experience trail runners will appreciate the new scenery and perfect trail system, and novice trail runners can ease into the new community with easy-to-navigate courses. Aid stations along the course will provide traditional refuel options, as well as candy and pretzels.
Hot Buttered Run 10K
Dec. 22; San Diego
The rumors are true—hot buttered rums will be provided at the finish line of this 10K event. Combine a love for Southern California sunshine and Christmas spirit at this San Diego event, where the finish shoot is lined with Christmas trees and the backdrop has an island feel to it. If you need a little extra inspiration to get to the start line, check out the local Team Challenge chapter and join their “Lite” program, complete with six weeks of training and guaranteed raise entry—and all is “costs” is $250 in fundraising to get you there!
Brazen New Year’s Eve Half Marathon, 10K and 5K
Dec. 28; East Bay, Calif.
Despite its name, this event lands three days before New Year’s Eve, giving runners a chance to recover and regain energy to ring in 2014. With three distance options, runners of all ability levels are invited to tackle the trails and roads of Castro Valley. Feeling extra ambitious? Come back for the second half marathon on New Year’s Day and brag to your friends that it took you two years to complete one full marathon. If they do not believe you, the Brazen New Year Mega-Medal is plenty of proof.
Woodside Trail Runs
Dec. 29; Woodside, Calif.
Avid trail runners will appreciate the four distance options (10K, 17K, 35K, 50K) at this classic northern California trail event—where there’s something for everyone. Experience the coastal redwoods, lush ferns and babbling brooks on this woodsy course as you venture through Kings Mountain, Bear Gulch and Wunderlich Park. This event offers T-shirt choices, between Patagonia, Sport-Tek and cotton choices. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, score a custom event coaster after you complete the ultramarathon distance.
New Year’s Race Half Marathon and 5K
Jan. 4; Los Angeles
Come experience the glam of New Year’s Eve in one of the most glamorous Southern California cities—the city of angels. Los Angeles will be lit up at the ring of the New Year as 13.1-mile runners soak in the midnight lights of the city. The finish line highlights the new L.A. Live complex and leads participants through the hottest areas of LA. Don’t forget to check the elevation chart—a gradual climb challenges racers beginning at mile 2.