Starting any new year with an active and challenging activity is a great way to get yourself ready for whatever lies ahead. It shifts your mindset into a refreshed and wellness-focused space, which we could all use a bit more, no matter the time of year. Of course, the holiday season is all about partying—a surefire way to have fun, by the way—but a good, sweat-inducing workout can feel just as good! And who says you can’t party afterward?
Runs have officially transformed from ways to clock your personal bests on the pavement to action-packed events that you may actually just want to stay out all day and night for. If you’re looking to kick off 2017 with a bang and log some miles, then try one of these really cool runs. A few even involve partying, treats and dancing.
New York City – Midnight Run
If you’re in the Big Apple, but don’t want to party or take in the confetti-filled scene in Times Square, then you should absolutely do the New York Road Runners Midnight Run in Central Park. It’s safe (for all those wondering about running in the park after dark) and comes in at a manageable four miles. The evening starts with dancing—so you can get some fun in—a costume contest and festive fireworks. Then the runners count down to midnight, followed by a chilly run.
Portland, Maine – Dip and Dash
Make like a polar bear with this dip and dash duo! It involves a 5K fun run, followed by a dip into the Atlantic, which should be a toasty 43 degrees at this time. Afterward, you can get a free pint of beer at the after party, so make sure to bring along some toasty clothes.
Wichita, Kansas – Hangover Half-Marathon
We love the name of this grouping of runs: the Hangover Half Series. Starting on NYE, the trio includes a resolution run earlier in the day, a 5K that will literally have you running into 2017, and a 5K/half marathon at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day—hence the “hangover” moniker. If you complete the marathon or 5K on the 1st, you’ll be gifted with a pair of touchscreen gloves emblazoned with the race’s logo. And those who make it through all three events will get a cozy embroidered pullover and some other rewards.
Bolzano, Italy – New Year’s Eve Run
Feeling like a bit of travel for 2017? Head to northern Italy for the BOclassic Raiffeisen New Year’s Eve Run. It includes a 5K fun run or hand bike ride, a 1.25K to 2.5K run for children, and 5K and 10K runs for elite women and men, respectively. It’s a go-to for some of the world’s best runners, so it will definitely be fun to join in and get a taste of what it’s like to be at the top.
San Francisco – Hot Chocolate Run
If you’re not able to run exactly on January 1, then don’t be too hard on yourself! If you’re in SF, there’s a really fun run in store: the Hot Chocolate 5 and 15K. As the city is known for having a must-visit hub for Ghirardelli chocolate, it only makes sense that you’d have access to some epic hot cocoa, treats and fondue upon finishing. And this isn’t the only stop—there are runs in Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Las Vegas, Seattle and many more on the agenda for 2017.