Five pre-Christmas runs to end the year with a kick
From Santa dashes to woodland races there’s plenty to keep you active before the festivities
Some of the 1400 Santas taking part in The Santa Dash, a fundraiser for the Down Syndrome Center Charity, at North Bull Island , Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
Belleek Woods 10km
Location: Belleek Woods, Co Mayo.
Date: Sunday, December 1st.
Entry price: €15.
This increasingly popular 10km run goes through the Belleek Woods just outside Ballina and is one of the most scenic runs you will do anywhere. The course is generally quite fast with the finish particularly so given that the final 2km are all downhill and it is considered a good place to attempt to run a personal best. The race is chip timed and AAI certified, beginning at Ballina Athletics Club and finishing at Ballina Soccer Club.
Santa Dash Dublin 5km and 10km
Location: Bull Island, Dublin.
Date: Sunday, December 1st.
Entry Price: €26 (Adults 5km or 10km), €20 (Kids 5km).
This is a run with a difference. Included in your entry fee is a full Santa costume which must be worn for the entirety of the run with the regulations specifically stating that if you don’t have it on at the end you won’t be eligible for a prize. The race takes place on the beach at Bull Island so it is a particularly flat route but it can also be hampered by strong winds. The event is chip timed and Santa himself will be there for kids to visit with all proceeds going to Irish Lung Fibrosis Association.
KTRTC 12Ks of Christmas
Location: Kildare Business Park.
Date: Sunday, December 7th.
Entry price: €15 (12km), €12 (6km).
This pop-up race goes slightly above the usual 10km and is probably a healthier pursuit than pubs in terms of something numbered 12 before Christmas. The race starts and finishes at Kildare Business Park with much of the route going around the flat Curragh Plains so the course is quite manageable. The race is chip timed so it suits serious and casual runners across both distances and hot refreshments will be provided at the end.
Aware Christmas 5km and 10km
Location: Phoenix Park, Dublin.
Date: Saturday, December 14th.
Entry price: €26 (10km and 5km).
This is one of the biggest charity runs around the country all year with over 2,000 people participating in the Phoenix Park last year. The race is chip-timed and AAI certified but the focus is very much on raising money for Aware through entry, sponsorship and donations. There will also be spot prizes for the best festive costumes. Children under 16 can compete for free with the race starting on Chesterfield Avenue and finishing on Furze Road.
Kildare Santa Dash 5km and 10km
Location: Saplings Special School, Kill East.
Date: Sunday, December 22nd.
Entry price: €16 (10km), €14 (5km).
It’s just a few days before Christmas so what better time to get out and have a run to ward of any feelings of guilt during the next few days’ indulging.
The event is run in conjunction with a similar Santa Dash in Wicklow the week before and you can enter both and receive a joint medal. The charity partner is Saplings Special School and you can get a free entry, medal and t-shirt if you raise €120.