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Turkey Trots & Santa Strolls: Holiday fun runs in the PNW

For some, running is a way of life. With the exception of a good pair of running shoes, it’s pretty inexpensive. You don’t have to drive to the gym and you can be ready to go in a couple of minutes. But during the fall and winter months, it can be hard to get motivated. With our grayer and wetter weather, it’s hard to get out of bed, let alone go out for run. But a little competition just might be what you need to keep going.

While some will argue that the two words "run" and "fun" should never go together, fun runs just might help to keep you from falling into a slump. They are easy to prepare for and you can run by yourself or go with a group. You can find runs as short as 3K to as long as a marathon. Some races benefit charities. Some are based on wacky themes. Some encourage you to wear goofy costumes. In many cases, you can even walk the route! But regardless of whatever race you enter, you’ll be surrounded by others who want to see you succeed just as much as you do. So, whether it be a personal challenge to see if you "still got it" or you’re needing a good way to keep the pounds off when the holiday cookies come around, running can be a good thing.

We’ve compiled a large list of running events scheduled now through the end of the year. Since technically you can run anywhere, this list doesn’t include virtual runs. Sign up right away as these are bound to fill up quickly.

Tacky Turkey Sweater
Date: Nov. 19, 2022 – 10 a.m.
Distance: 5K
Where: Green Lake Park, Seattle
Good to Know: This family race is a mashup of November's "Turkey Trot" and December's "Jingle Bell Run" and you're encouraged to wear your holiday best. If you can find a sweater featuring a turkey, all the better. Register by Nov. 18.

Ravenna Refresher Trail Run
Date: Nov. 19, 2022 – 9:30 a.m.
Distance: 4K/8K/12K
Where: Revenna Park, Seattle
Good to Know: Another race that's good for runners of different endurance levels. All courses use the same 4.1 km loop, with a low to moderate climb (230 feet per loop) on nicely groomed forested trails.

Issaquah Turkey Trot
Date: Nov. 24, 2022 – 9 a.m.
Distance: 5K
Where: SE Bush St. at 1st Ave SE, Issaquah
Good to Know: Relax! This journey can be as easy or difficult as you'd like meant for walkers and runners alike. Proceeds will go to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank. Thanksgiving costumes encouraged!

Magnuson Series: Turkey Trot
Date: Nov. 24, 2022 – 9:30 a.m.
Distance: 5K/10K/15K
Where: Magnuson Park, Seattle
Good to Know: This charity race is chip-timed with results live-streamed. Register by Nov. 22.

Mukilteo Turkey Trot
Date: Nov. 24, 2022
Distance: 5K/10K
Where: Kamiak High School, Mukilteo
Good to Know: The course here is said to be mostly flat but it does have a few gently rolling hills along closed roads throughout the Harbour Pointe community.

Norpoint Classic
Date: Nov. 24, 2022 – 9 a.m.
Distance: 5K and 2-mile
Where: Center at Norpoint, Tacoma
Good to Know: This scenic course begins and ends at Center at Norpoint winding through Northeast Tacoma. It is chip-timed and racers will receive a t-shirt.

Tacoma City Turkey Trot
Date: Nov. 24, 2022 – 9 a.m.
Distance: 5K
Where: Proctor District, Tacoma
Good to Know: Tacoma's other Turkey Trot also features a kid's 1K race and every finisher will receive a medal.

Gig Harbor Turkey Trot
Date: Nov. 24, 2022 – 8 a.m.
Distance: 5K
Where: North Harbor Dr., Gig Harbor
Good to Know: The story goes like this: In 2002, Dr. Holmes (of Holmes Chiropractic) was challenged by his son to run a marathon with him. While looking for events to train, he asked a few friends to join him for a 5K run on Thanksgiving morning. 15 people showed up. Since that time, the number of runners that appear at the annual event has grown to over 3,000 and is Gig Harbor's largest community running event. Participants are encouraged to bring two cans of food to be donated to the local food bank.

Seattle Marathon
Date: Nov. 24, 2022 – 6 and 7 a.m.
Distance: Full marathon and half marathon
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle
Good to Know: Here's the big one. Operating since 1970, the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon is the oldest marathon in the PNW with a course that follows rolling hills with scenic views of some of Seattle's iconic bridges, waterways and architecture.

Wizards 5K
Date: Dec. 4, 2022 – 10 a.m.
Distance: 5K
Where: Green Lake Park, Seattle
Good to Know: Harry Potter fans - this race is for you. This is a non-competitive walk/run where everyone is encouraged to dress up as their favorite wizard. Wizarding dogs are welcome too. Finishers will receive a medal and bragging rights to poke fun at the other wizards who didn't run this race.

K9 Candy Cane Fun Run and Walk
Date: Dec. 4, 2022 – 9:15 a.m.
Distance: 5K
Where: Renton Community Center, Renton
Good to Know: Find out who let the dogs out. This race celebrates our four-legged friends taking place on the Cedar River Trail. The race will be chip-timed. Dog food donations will be accepted too. Runners do not have to bring a dog to race.

Redmond Reindeer Romp
Date: Dec. 3, 2022 – 9:30 a.m.
Distance: 5K and Half Marathon
Where: Redmond Watershed Preserve, Redmond
Good to Know: This race takes place through the forest of the Redmond Watershed Preserve atop a trail of which some describe as a smooth "dirt carpet" making for an easier and most likely, an enjoyable run.

Electric Cookie Run
Date: Dec. 3, 2022 – 5 p.m.
Distance: 2.8 miles/5.6 miles
Where: Green Lake, Seattle
Good to Know: Run one or two loops around Green Lake, pick up a medal for finishing and enjoy a few cookies from some of Seattle's best bakeries. The Electric Cookie Run supports Mary’s Place Seattle which provides a safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness.

Santa Runs Tacoma
Date: Dec. 4, 2022 – 3:30 p.m.
Distance: 5K
Where: 50th St. and South Tacoma Way, Tacoma
Good to Know: Unlike most of the other races listed here, this one takes place in the afternoon ahead of the Tacoma Santa Parade. The first 250 registrants will receive a 2022 "Santa Runs Tacoma" Santa hat. The race is chip-timed and racers will receive a medal at the end of their journey. Better yet, the course will be lined with spectators cheering you on!

Christmas Rush
Date: Dec. 10, 2022
Distance: 5K/10K – 9:50 a.m.
Where: Hogan Park, Kent
Good to Know: The Kent race is celebrating 40 years this December! Registration is open through race day, but if you want a t-shirt (an extra fee), you'll need to sign up by November 10.

Pigtails Run
Date: Dec. 10, 2022 -
Distance: 50K/Half Marathon/Marathon
Where: Cedar to Green River Trail, Maple Valley
Good to Know: This is a race with little frills, but it also really inexpensive to enter as well! In addition to bragging rights, racers will be treated to hot chicken noodle or vegan butternut squash soup at the finish.

Jingle Bell Run
Date: Dec. 11, 2022
Distance: 5K
Where: Green Lake Aqua Theater
Good to Know: Supporting the Arthritis Foundation, this fun run is one of the most festive around. Wear your holiday gear and don't forget to tie those bells to your shoes!

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Magnuson Series: Holiday Fun Run
Date: Dec. 17, 2022 – 10 a.m.
Distance: 5K/10K/15K
Where: Magnuson Park, Seattle
Good to Know: Come on down to Magnuson Park to run one, two or three 5K loops then enjoy a cup of hot chocolate to warm you up when you're done. This run also features a 400-meter race for the kids.

Jingle Bell Run
Date: Dec. 17, 2022 – 10 a.m.
Distance: 3 Miles
Where: Wright Park, Tacoma
Good to Know: While you prepare for the home stretch before Christmas, take some time for this family-friendly 3-mile walk/run then enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at the end.

May all of your fun runs be merry and bright!