It’s December 2nd and the countdown to Christmas has begun in earnest.
For most people, the 24th/ 25th December (depending if you’re more a Christmas Eve person or Christmas Day person…) is the endgame. All we have to do is make it that far, get everything sorted by that date and we’re happy people.
In recent years, I’ve found that this tendency to place all focus on these two days does tend to lead to an anti-climax – a feeling that oh that was great, but is that it now? Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and enjoy every minute of it, but in the last few years, I’ve found myself adding to the norm and incorporating my own traditions on other days before and after the typical celebrated days.
Not in the sense that you might think. For some people, celebrating the holidays means days centred around food, drink and indoor shenanigans until January rears its shameful head. I like good food, drink and shenanigans as much as the next person but I have to admit that one or two days of doing this is plenty enough for me. After that, the longing for the cold outdoors and fresh air becomes too much and I have to break free!
If you’re like me and love your outdoors – whether you’re a hiker, runner, cyclist, walker or whatever you’re into – then it’s important to take time over the holidays to do what you like to do. Do you. You don’t have to drink yourself silly every evening just because everyone else is, when you’d really rather be out climbing a mountain. Screw what everyone else thinks. Do you.
My family and friends already think I’m weird for running and cycling in freezing temperatures. There IS nothing to lose 😀
Christmas Day dinner doesn’t have to be your finish line. Why not find out if there are any running events on in December in your local area? I love running races so for me, getting to take part in running events whilst also getting to enjoy all normal Christmas stuff is the perfect combination.
For all the lucky people who live in Ireland, I’ve given you a headstart and below you’ll find a list of running events on in Ireland over the Christmas period which you can aim for from…now!
1. The Goal Mile – easily top of this list. These events are held in nearly every town all across Ireland on Christmas morning, usually around 11am. You don’t have to be an experienced runner or even a runner at all. I walk the Goal Mile course in Naas every year with my family and it’s a gorgeous way to start Christmas day seeing all the town people out, kids with their new bikes, new dogs, young and old, spreading Christmas cheer. Oh, and no sign up fee, you just make a charitable donation of your choice.
2. Santa Dash Dublin – Sunday 4th December 12pm. A fun run open to all ages and abilities. Full Santa suit included in your entry fee of 25 euro and there’s a choice of distance of 5km or 10km. The Dublin event takes place on the beach in Bull Island and there is a similar event on in Salthill, Galway. See the facebook page for more details here.
3. The Fat Turkey Run – 28th December at 11am – 10km. Reg fee is €23 (+ booking fee) You’ll get a technical ‘turkey’ t-shirt, timing chip and refreshments back at Suttonians rugby club. Starts at St Fintan’s Church in Sutton. See here for more details. Should be a fun day out after all the Christmas cheer!
4. Ardagh 10 Mile Challenge – 27th December 1pm. I love a 10 mile race and frankly, there are very few races of this distance in Ireland so I welcome this with arms wide open. I love that it’s the 27th of December too – giving me something great to look forward to the day after Stephen’s Day. Can’t wait for this race.
For those who’ve never been to Ardagh (myself included), Ardagh is in Longford! You can register online or on the day in the Community Centre in the village. Parking in the village should be fine and there will also be parking at the GAA pitch.
5. Parkrun – Naas and other towns all over Ireland, 9:30am. Takes place every Saturday no matter what and is absolutely free. Last year St Stephen’s Day fell on a Saturday and guess what… parkrun was still on! The amazing volunteers could easily have taken the morning off to stay at home with their families but instead generously gave their time AGAIN to this great weekly event. Myself and my Mam stealed away from our houseguests for a hour an hour and it was a brilliantly enjoyable half hour.
Find your nearest parkrun now and make sure to get in on that over the holidays. It’s only a half an hour and your home again, ready to move on to the rest of your day.
Go forth my friends!!