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Four festive runs to keep you warm this winter

Beth Leslie

Eaten all the mince pies and ended up on Santa’s naughty list? Bored of your little round belly shaking like a bowlful of jelly? Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you can’t burn off those pre-Christmas carbs. Sprint into the holiday spirit with one of these very festive fun runs.

Santa Dash, December 4


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Santa Claus is coming to Clapham Common this Christmas, and he’s bringing along 3,000 doppelgängers. Runners are kitted out in a Santa suit to tackle the 5km or 10km course, while on-site snow machines mean this may be the closest you can get to a white Christmas. There's even the promise of mulled wine at the end, which should get you over the finish line. Plus, it’s all to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, so you’ll get a warm glow from do-gooding as well as from puffing through the December air. 

Reindeer Run, December 10

Fancy yourself as a bit of a Dasher or a Comet on the race course? The Reindeer Run at Battersea Park should be right up your street. Don your race antlers and gallop 5km or 10km accompanied by your favourite Christmas tunes. Teams of elves will be on hand to help out and mince pies will be handed out to all finishers, ensuring any calories you burn off are swiftly topped up.

Santa Search & Rescue, December 17 


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If merrily jogging along as Saint Nick or one of his four-legged companions sounds far too jolly, then this is the festive race for you. Santa Claus has been kidnapped by evil terrorists, and your job is dash through central London collecting clues, assassinating baddies and completing daring tasks. It’s organised by former military commanders, which should give you some idea of what to expect. Even the starting location is kept top-secret until Race Day. If your favourite Christmas movie is 'Die Hard', you’ll love this. 

Winter Run, February 5

Remember how every New Year's Day finds you clearing up pizza boxes and beer bottles while promising yourself that this is the year you’ll get fit? Consider the Winter Run your chance to finally keep your word. Cancer Research UK will be embracing the winter chill by blasting runners with faux-snow, and the 10km course includes stop-offs to party with the penguins and take a tipple at a Swiss Chalet drinks station. Plus, finishers are rewarded with a snuggle from a polar bear. If that’s not enough to get you out of bed and into your trainers, what is?

Check out tips for keeping fit this winter from London's fitness bloggers


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