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

Pier to Pier 5k Beach Run, Jan. 4; Pompano Beach Fla.

Southeast Region

Pretty Muddy
Dec. 7, Lakeland, Fla.
Dec. 14; Miami

Believe it or not—this lovely series was started by two businessmen and inspired by their hardworking wives. So ladies, let your hair down and enjoy a fun-filled 5K mud run with a girlie twist—no boys allowed. With plenty of mud to go around, this 3.1-mile girlfriend getaway boasts architectural obstacles, better than the traditional hay barrels and shaky plywood obstacles found in other novelty events. Don’t forget to stick around for the epic finish line party, complete with food, drinks, music and other live entertainment.

GORUCK Challenge
Dec. 14; St. Augustine, Fla.

Created by an ex-Special Forces soldier, GORUCK events are events that simulate the journeys of military in combat through a challenge obstacle-filled course and special tasks throughout the event. The GORUCK Challenge is one of several different types of pseudo-military events on the GORUCK calendar in the Southeast region. This is a team event, not an individual race, where the hardest part is just to register. Participants can register as individuals, and they will be placed with 29 other brave souls, comprising their 30-person team. With a special operations cadre keeping you in check the entire way, the goal is to get all 30 participants across the finish line to earn the GORUCK Tough patch.

South Florida Fair 5K
Dec. 28; West Palm Beach, Fla.

Registration fees pay for more than 3.1 miles—sign up for this annual event and earn free admission into the South Florida Fair Jan. 17-Feb. 2. Participants also receive a quick power-up breakfast before the race as well as the usual round up of racer goodies: a T-shirt, goodie bag, post-race snacks, finisher’s medal and an excuse to run off the holiday weight. The race begins and ends in beautiful Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach—there’s no better excuse to get out and experience winter Florida sunshine!

Pier to Pier 5K Beach Run
Jan. 4; Pompano Beach Fla.

A new year brings new races, and this one is sure to return for many years to come. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Pompano Beach’s incorporation, this event will take runners through the history of South Florida, finishing in beautiful Lauderdale by the Sea near world-famous Anglin’s Fishing Pier. Racers will be timed and required to wear bibs; however, it is up to the individual to “self seed,” or place themselves among similar ability levels at the start line. This event is “bandit proof”—all participants must wear clearly visible bibs in order to record an accurate finish time.

Rock the New Year Half Marathon, 10K and 5K
Jan. 5; Snellville, Ga.

Start 2014 off with a rockin’ bang at Snellville’s half-marathon event through Lenor Park, where all courses stay on a wide, paved, looped course around the area. Half marathoners will complete five loops, 10K runners two loops and 5K participants one loop. Deborah Montgomery Racing hosts the event—among others throughout the year—keeping it small and allowing runners to experience the friendly atmosphere of racing. None of the courses are USATF-certified, but they are accurate in their measurements and provide runners with a perfect tune-up opportunity leading into the New Year.

South Florida Mud Run
Jan. 11; Punta Gorda, Fla.

Get muddy for a cause with this two-year-old event—100% of the race proceeds will go toward building the new children’s hospital tower, making it one big worthy fundraiser. Comprising a 3-mile foot race for the parents and a mini mudder for the kiddies, this dirty party is sure to muddy up some smiles and leave participants hungry for more. What’s more? You can embrace a little country twang after visiting the venue: The Red Neck Yacht Club.

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