Winter running events in Toronto
Winter Running events in Toronto have runs to challenge anyone, from the novice couch to 5K-er's trying to kickstart a New Year's resolution, to diehards keeping a leg up on the competition for the fast approaching Goodlife marathon in May.
With running being an intensely popular sport in Toronto these days there's no shortage of races, and even as the temp drops avid runners know to layer up and brave the cold, unless of course you're doing the Santa Speedo Run, in which I suggest, well, run faster.
Toronto Santa Speedo Run - Saturday, December 14th
Dust off that red banana hammock and gear up for this fun 3K run through the posh streets of Yorkville. Raising money for Sick Kid's, this annual run always generates a lot of buzz, and with Saturday's temperature sitting at a high of -9°C, you can bet these Santa wannabe's will be running faster than Dasher or Dancer. Egg nog, high fives and an award ceremony at Hemmingway's pub to follow shortly after.
Santa Pur-Suit - Sunday, December 15th
Join your fellow St. Nick's as you run through the streets of downtown Toronto in the mandatory (and provided) Santa suit. This timed 5K run in support of MLSE Foundation will have 3,000 jolly men and women competing against each other not only for best time and bragging rights, but also the top two get to drop the puck at the Marlie's game afterwards. Don't worry, the other 2,998 Santa's score a free ticket to cheer on the boys in blue.
Don Rowing Club Winter Run- Sunday, December 15th
With both 5K and 10K options, if you're into rowing, or just like to pretend you're nautical, this race is for you! Benefitting the Don Rowing Club in Mississauga, prizes are up for grabs in all categories, and you can toast your time over a hot breakfast at the club after.
Boxing Day 10 miler - Thursday, December 26th
Looking to clean up some credit card debt incurred over the holidays? Dust off those Nikes and down an extra Clif bar for this one. Runners from all over gear up in Hammertown and join the Hamilton Harriers in support of the local YMCA. With a cash purse of prize $2500, 10 miles should be a cake walk. Post run pints at the local Irish pub let you replenish those important lost B(eer) vitamins.
Brita Resolution Run - Sunday, December 29th
This massive event, in its 29th year is a coast to coast event, so do your best to snap a good mid-route selfie to brag to your west coast buddies that you already beat them by a full three hours. This 5K race kicks off at the CNE grounds and all runners snap up a cool 'resolution run' jacket just for showing up. Stick around after for prizes and post event eats.
Midnite Run and Party - Tuesday, December 31st
Kicking off at the stroke of midnight, you'll be humming Auld Lang Syne while you nip off for a quick 5K race around Liberty village in support of the Fort York Food Bank. With bubbly waiting for you at the finish line, this may inspire you to run your fastest 5K (okay, at least the fastest of '14). The party continues after at Danceology with food, fireworks and a bevy of nearby bars to toast your athletic prowess.
Polar Bear Dip - Wednesday, January 1st
While it certainly doesn't qualify as a traditional 'race', you will be running a little bit..into the frigid water at Sunnyside Beach and running directly back out again, hopefully into a warmed up and waiting Snuggie. Money raised goes to Habitat for Humanity, so consider committing a fashion crime and reusing that red Santa speedo for a good cause.
Balmy Beach Hair of the Dog Fun Run - Wednesday, January 1st
For those looking for a cure for all that ails them, the 34th annual fun run may just be a good distraction for your mind numbing hangover. Kicking off at the Balmy Beach Canoe Club, this 3K or 9K run/walk takes you around Ashbridges Bay and includes a hot lunch afterwards.
Run4Kids - Saturday, January 4th
For those not so keen on the sleet and snow, this marathon (or 30K, 10K or 5K) is hosted by York University at their indoor track guaranteeing you protection from the elements. Run4Kids raises funds for school aged kids in Toronto, so while you're running around in circles remember you're doing it for a great cause.
Robbie Burns 8K Road Race - Sunday, January 26th
Before channeling your inner Ron Burgundy (scotch scotch scotch, I love scotch!), tackle the rolling hills of Burlington in your best kilt for your chance to win prizes while raising money for Jumpstart. Running in a kilt is not for the faint of heart, but your best plaid PJ pants are also suitable substitutes, and if you register early, you snag a free pair.
Couples and Singles Valentines 5K - Sunday, February 9th
Looking for love in all the wrong places? This race gives new meaning to speed dating. Couples and singles co-mingle in Burlington for a fast 5K around Cedar Springs Health Racquets and Sportclub. All couples who finish receive a heart shaped metal (aww!) and singles hopefully scoop up a last minute Valentines date.
Brampton Rose Half Marathon - Sunday, February 23rd
This late February half marathon race through the streets of Brampton promises sub-zero temps and throngs of serious marathon runners. A precursor to the Goodlife marathon in May, this popular race is in support of the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness. Which is good, cause you may need their services after completing this race. A 5K option is also part of the route if the half proves too daunting.
Achilles St Patrick's Day 5K - Sunday, March 16th
With the Start/Finish at Steamwhistle brewery, this 5K race encourages you to wear your best St Pat's day gear, so expect a lot of shamrock shaking. In its 14th year, this run benefits Achilles Canada, a non-profit that provides training to assist people with disabilities to take up running as a sport for not only the physical, but social aspect as well.
Spring in your Step - Wednesday, March 20th
Running Room is hosting this 2.5K or 5K race in support of Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, and also to celebrate the grand opening of their Queens Park location, replete with ribbon cutting ceremony after, and for you fanboys out there, the dude who started the whole company will be on hand to give each runner a medal. Also, there will be cake.
Downtown Dash - Wednesday, March 27th
Another Wednesday, another Running Room event! For those who love combining charity do-gooding with fitness and corporate sponsorship, don't miss this 2.5K or 5K race around downtown, near the Running Room store on Yonge Street by Wellington. All it takes is a donation to the food bank to get you in, and yes, there will be cake and another ribbon cutting ceremony by Mr. Running Room himself afterwards.
What did we miss? Add more winter running events to the comments below.