48 Must-Do Dec./Jan. Races Across The U.S.

Ugly Sweater Run, Dec. 21; Memphis, Tenn.

South Region

Run For Your Lives Austin
Dec. 7; Austin, Texas

Halloween doesn’t have to stop in October—grab a friend and run for your life as zombies chase you through obstacles, mud and even blood. Obstacles are challenging but doable with a little added teamwork. Complete with a human blood pit, creepy smokehouse and maze of horrors, this race for survival will challenge your will to live. For the brave souls that make it through the 3.1-mile journey, there is an Apocalypse Party waiting for your at the finish line, complete with games, food, drinks and live entertainment.

Deck the Trails 5K & Fun Run
Dec. 14; Coppell, Texas

Explore the new trails of Coppell Nature Park with this 3.1-mile off-road holiday trek. All finishers receive a tasty cupcake from Frost Cupcakery—a perk that is sure to satisfy post-run munchies and holiday-season cravings. Age-group and overall awards will be given at the finish line, so don’t forget to wear your official timing chip as you kick up trail dust. Deck the Trails is part of a nine-race series in North Texas, hosted by the Run Project, whose goal is to keep it local and charitable by supporting local nonprofits in every market.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis
Dec. 14; The Woodlands, Texas

‘Tis the season to give back, so why not get your jingle on and raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation this holiday season? With events all over the country, the Jingle Bell Run makes it easy and accessible for supporters all over the nation to put their bells together and run (or walk) for a great cause. The website provides all the information you need—including fundraising tips! The event takes places in Northshore Park and even includes a 1-mile Snowman Shuffle for those who want to take it easy after feasting on holiday eats.

Run or Dye Arlington
Dec. 14; Arlington, Texas

Embrace your bright personality and flair with this nationwide color run series, which hits Arlington mid-December. (There are more than 10 Run or Dye events planned in Texas 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.

Ugly Sweater Run Memphis
Dec. 21; Memphis, Tenn.

Remember that hideous garb you swore you would never wear? Now is the time to dig up your ugliest threads and get moving at this 3.1-mile run. But don’t worry—this race offers two free beers at the finish line, so you can drown your sweater-induced embarrassment. Electrolyte stations are replaced with hot cocoa cups along the course, and prizes will be awarded in a plethora of categories—best and worst ‘stache, best beard and best and worst sweaters. Round up some friends and snap a photo of yourself in your aunt’s worst Christmas gift—it’s just proof that there’s a time and place for, literally, everything.

Houston Running Festival
Dec. 28; Houston

If you want options, this festival has plenty of them. Join Houston runners and register for the 100-mile, 100K, 50-mile, 50K, marathon or half marathon events. If you’re more of a time person and feel like running for 12 or 24 hours straight, challenge yourself and see how many 2.01-mile loops you complete before time is up. All distances cover the same loop—so don’t get dizzy. The 100-mile finishers will receive a custom-designed belt buckle; other distances receive a unique medal once they cross the finish line. 12- and 24-hour conquers receive a plaque for their efforts. Bring different clothing options—temps range between 50-70 degrees during these long-haul events.

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