Holiday-Themed Races Begin This Weekend


With Thanksgiving behind us, holiday-themed races begin in earnest this weekend, with a variety of events taking place throughout the city and suburbs between now and the end of the year.

The always-popular Santa Hustle hits the Chicago lakefront this weekend, bringing thousands of runners to Soldier Field for a festive 5K. The event, which will take place on Dec. 5, encourages participants to dress as Santa using provided hats and beards and offers some of the most unique aid station assistance for a race of that distance, including cookies and candy. Crystal Lake will also host a Santa-themed run this weekend with the Kiwanis Santa Run for Kidss taking place on Dec. 6. Each race participant receives a five-piece Santa suit, while kids participating in the one mile youth run receive reindeer antlers.

Local runnings of the Jingle Bell Run begin this weekend with a 5K at Cantigny Park in Wheaton on Dec. 5. The race will come to Chicago on Dec. 12 with 5K and 10K distances and to Kankakee on Dec. 13 with a 5K. All together, the events aim to raise $245,000 for the Arthritis Foundation.

For runners looking for something slightly longer than a 5K, the annual Rudolph Ramble 8K will take place in Lincoln Park at Diversey Harbor on Dec. 13. This year’s event boasts a variety of new features, including Do-Rite Donuts for every finisher, a holiday-themed marketplace and on-course carolers from Lane Tech College Prep high school.

For a complete list of upcoming local events, visit