10 Holiday and Winter Running Events You Must Do

Join hundreds of others as they dash across Virginia during these special holiday and winter running events. Throw on your tackiest sweater, run for chocolate or plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. So many events, it’s hard to choose!

Christmas Town Dash 8k, Williamsburg – Dec. 4, 2016
Enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of Christmas as you wind your way through the wonderfully decorated Christmas Town in Busch Gardens. All 8K runners will receive one 50% coupon for Christmas Town and one free single day pass for the 2017 season as part of your registration! The event also features the Running of the Cows Kids Fun Run with the Chick-fil-A cows!

Light up the Night 5K, Martinsville – Dec. 10, 2016

The Light Up the Night 5K is a family friendly event that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face! Dress in your best Christmas attire or your tackiest sweater and meet at the Uptown Farmers Market for a night you’ll never forget!

Tacky Sweater 5K, Norfolk – Dec. 10, 2016
This tacky sweater Christmas themed event has a little something for everyone with a competitive 5K race, 5K walking category and tacky sweater competition. All 5K runners receive a race T-shirt, post-race refreshments and festive post-race awards ceremony.

Carmax Tacky Light Run, Richmond – Dec. 10, 2016

Richmond is home to some of the tackiest of holiday lights, a festive craze that has made the city a holiday destination. This 6k course shows off incredible displays of tacky lights featuring dozens of homes. Dust off your ugliest holiday sweater, find anything you can that lights up or glows and head out for the Carmax Tacky Light Run.

Great Chocolate Race, Arlington – Dec. 10, 2016
If the idea of a scenic run followed by a box of Godiva, hot chocolate and holiday shopping sounds like a winning combination, head to beautiful Arlington this December and kick off the holiday season with chocolate!

Surf’N Santa 5-Miler, Virginia Beach – Dec. 17, 2016
100 Miles of Lights - Virginia Beach
Close your eyes and envision a nautical holiday wonderland of more than a million bright lights twinkling against the Atlantic as you’re lacing up for a run on the Virginia Beach boardwalk. The Surf-n-Santa 5 Miler will be held at twilight along the boardwalk so runners can enjoy the “McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach” display, named by USA Today as one of the top ten best holiday light displays in the country!

New Year’s Eve Glow Run 5K, Harrisonburg – Dec. 31, 2016
The New Year’s Eve Glow Run 5K is the hottest way to ring in 2017 with friends and family in Harrisonburg. Enjoy a new out-and-back 5K course that starts/finishes downtown and runs through JMU’s campus. Even better, all participants receive more glow paraphernalia than you’ll know what to do with and the course is lined with flashy lights and DJ’s.

Garden Fun Run, Norfolk – Jan. 1, 2017
Norfolk Garden Fun RunKick off the New Year in a fun, healthy way. Runners and their families will enjoy two miles of spectacular light displays at the Norfolk Botanical Garden during the Dominion Garden of Lights annual light show extravaganza. Enjoy a Kids’ Dash, special entertainment, food, drinks and more!  This run is fun for the entire family.

Shiver in the River, Richmond – Jan. 28, 2017
ShiverintheRiverShiver in the River will start with a clean-up along the banks of the James River. Next, enjoy the beauty of Virginia and the James River with a bit of exercise during the 5K Walk. The James River Jump will take place along the chilly banks of the James right by Historic Tredegar. Pre and Post James River Jump, the event hosts a celebratory festival including heated tents, food and beverage vendors, music, and a fun environmental atmosphere.

Polar Plunge Winter Fest, Virginia Beach – Feb. 3-4, 2017

Celebrating 25 years of coolness, the Polar Plunge Winter Fest invites you to throw on your swimsuit for a chilly dip in the ocean. They are also serving up a brand new 4 Miler Run/Walk and a 1 Mile Dash & Splash!

Other Virginia destinations are hosting events throughout February as well.

  • Richmond, Feb. 25, 2017 – Do your best cannonball into a frosty above-ground pool at the Shops at Willow Lawn.
  • Dumfries, Feb. 25, 2017 -Put on your brave for the Northern VA Polar Plunge Fest, where hundreds will dash into the icy Potomac.
  • Radford, Feb. 18, 2017 – Get set to get wet with hundreds of others as they make their wintry dash into the frigid New River.

For additional themed runs click here.

Click here for additional sporting events to watch and participate in.

For additional ideas to beat the winter blues click here.

© Stephanie for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2016. |

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We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!

Stephanie Kenney

We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!