5 festive races to boost your Christmas spirit

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1. The Medicash Santa Dash

Liverpool, 6th December

We say: People come from all over to take part in this spectacular 5K event, which is the biggest festive fun run in the world. Last year, 8,500 Santas turned up and the goal this year is a mighty 10,000.

You say*: ‘The sight of thousands of fluffy-beards.’ Fiona Hanik*

Do it for… The enthusiastic post-race ‘rehydration’ in pubs that are rammed with 'athletes' in Santa suits.

Visit the event page.

2. Weston Park 10K Christmas Run

Shropshire, 6th December

We say: A one-lap and not overly challenging course that takes runners around a site that’s home to the V Festival in the summer. For any non-runners present there’s a Christmas craft and food fair.

You say: ‘A great location and time of year for a first 10K.’ TeacherMom

Do it for… Keeping the family happy. As well as a race there’s a Christmas fair and a mini railway ride.

Visit the event page.

3. Belfast City Santa Dash

Northern Ireland, 6th December

We say: Hundreds of Santas pack the streets for this jolly 2.5km dash through some of Belfast’s busiest shopping streets. The event, now in its fourth year, raises funds for disadvantaged children.

You say: ‘Great way to donate to a great cause.’ Paula Cee

Do it for… The enormous amounts of fun and the opportunity to raise money for a good cause.

Visit the event page.

4. Christmas Cracker

Warwickshire, 12th December

We say: This 10K or 20K through Warwickshire College and around some of the surrounding country lanes will test your seasonal cheer with a couple of climbs and the distinct possibility of some gloop. There are prizes for best fancy dress, so the simple Santa suit probably won’t cut it.

You say: ‘Very muddy, very hilly & great atmosphere.’ Phil Smith 12

Do it for… The strange festive foods, including mulled wine-flavoured tea.

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5. Olympic Park 10K

London, 13th December

We say: Organised by the Mo Farah Foundation, which raises funds for underprivileged communities, this 5K or 10K race takes runners through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the shadow of the stadium where Farah won double gold in 2012. This is a quick and fun race, and finishers will get what organisers call ‘a jazzy, Mo-Botting technical T-shirt’.

You say: ‘Motivation for the long winter months ahead!’ maireadfurlong1

Do it for… Mo – to thank him for his great efforts on Super Saturday.

Visit the event page.

*Comments taken from runnersworld.co.uk ratings and Facebook