Mountain West Region
Sally Meyerhoff 5K
Dec. 14; Tempe, Ariz.
Sally Meyerhoff, an accomplished runner on her way to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, died tragically after a car struck her during a bike ride in 2011. Today, the Sally Meyerhoff Foundation, dedicated to assisting various run groups financially, will host this 5K in Sally’s honor. Supporters are encouraged to hang out for a long time after, enjoying Sally stories and meeting other advocates for the cause. Sally holds a multitude of impressive records and PRs—including the four-year-old American 10-mile road record (54:38, which was broken by Janet Bawcom last April).
Ugly Sweater Run Las Vegas
Dec. 21; Las Vegas
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, allowing runners to drown their 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.
Christmas Carol Classic 10K, 5K and Tiny Tim 1K
Dec. 21; Denver
Give the gift of giving by joining hundreds of runners at this 3rd annual Denver event, which supports the Denver Children’s Hospital with donations. Carolers, dressed in attire straight from Dickens’ closet, warm up their vocal cords and begin singing at 7:45 to keep off the celebration. Participants also enjoy a sea of hot cocoa, coffee and cider—but the holiday cheer is not complete until Santa Claus shows up to snap some shots with runners along the course. Don’t forget to dress in your best red and green attire—prizes are awarded to the most festive costumes.
New Year’s Resolution 5K
Dec. 31; Denver
Get a jump on your fitness and racing goals for 2014 by ending this year with a flurry. This popular end-of-the-year 5K in Washington Park brings out a wide range of runners, from first-timers to speedy veterans. The races starts at 5 p.m., which gives you plenty time to get cleaned up for whatever New Year’s Eve festivities you plan to attend later in the evening. But you might want to start your revelry at the post-race party at Denver South High School, adjacent to the park, immediately following the race.
Swift Skedaddle Snowshoe Adventure 5K, 10K
Jan. 25; Silverthorne, Colo.
Dubbed one of the most scenic and challenging snowshoe races in Colorado, this 10K is a qualifier for the U.S. National Snowshoe Championships on March 1 in Bennington, Vt. (The 5K does not serve as a qualifier.) Be prepared—some of both courses may encounter wildlife, including moose. (The race website provides tips on how to interact with said wildlife.) All registrants receive an event T-shirt, raffle ticket and post-race lunch. Awards are offered to the top finishers in each age group.
The Yeti Chase 10K and 5K
Jan. 26, Lakewood, Colo.
Need a mid-winter race to maintain your fitness? These 5K and 10K races on the outskirts of Denver wander over flat and rolling trails through 2,500-acre Bear Creek Lake Park. Given unpredictable weather along the Front Range, race conditions could be snowy and slow, or they could be dry as a bone and super fast. Every runner gets a technical T-shirt, and there’s hot chocolate, an array of food and a huge prize giveaway at the post-race party. There is no race-day registration, partially because the races sell out weeks in advance.