THE Christmas holidays may be about great food and even better company but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some epic exercise along the way.
From turkey trots to Santa runs here are some of the best festive runs taking place around Christmas.
(Macdonald Aviemore Resort, Aviemore PH22 1PN, 0344 879 9152, Saturday 17th December)
Enjoying a brisk run in winter takes on a whole new level of fun when you are in festive fancy dress and running alongside hundreds of other people dressed as Santa.
The Aviemore Santa Run sees hundreds of competitors take on an “annual red & white bearded charge around Aviemore Macdonald Resort” in this 1 mile or 5k festive charity fun run.
Registration starts at 10:30am with the run beginning at 11.30am, prices start at £12 for an adult (£15 on the day) or £8 for a child (with a goody bag included) or £30 for a two adults, two children family ticket (£40 on the day). The best part is you don’t even need to bring your own costume, it’s included in the ticket price.
The Santa Run is organised to raise funds for Disability Snowsport UK, a National charity helping people with disabilities to access the thrill of snowsports.
(Pitreavie Playing Fields , Queensferry Road, Dunfermline, KY11 8PP, Sunday 18th December)
The Jingle Bell 5K returns for the second year running, offering participants the chance to take on a festive fun run in Dunfermline.
The run’s registration opens at 12pm, where runners will collect their race number and a Santa hat, before taking on the 5k which begins at 2pm. There’s a load of age categories, meaning more chance of winning a category prize and each runner who completes the course will receive a medal.
Costing just £10, the race course is fairly compact, consisting of several laps round a track making it perfect for spectators with other family members and friends being able to cheer you on.
(Nairn Dunbar Golf Club, Lochloy Rd, Nairn IV12 5AE, 01667 452741, Monday, 26th December)
Sporting the name of any of the Christmas runs, the Nairn Turkey Trot takes place on Boxing Day and organisers say it’s a “great way to burn off all those extra calories from Christmas Day”.
Beginning at the Maggot Sports Club, the race sees runners take on the 5k course and guessing their own finish time, with prizes on offer in accordance to your predicted time.
The race theme is definitely fun, with an emphasis on family participation, spot prizes and fancy dress - with prizes on offer for the best.
It’s £4 to enter or free in fancy dress, so dust off that Santa or elf costume and get out their and have some post-Christmas Day fun.
(Yurts Car Park, Tomnahurich,Torlundy, Fort William, PH33 6SP, Monday, 26th December)
For the serious competitors among you, the Cruim Leaccain Hill Race offers a real challenge. Organisers Lochaber Athletic Club describe it as an “arduous 10k” that is perfect for “working off all that Christmas pud”.
This cross country race covers approximately 6-7 miles (out and back) and takes in woodland and the heather filled slopes of Monadh Uisge Mhuilinn.
Registration starts at 10.00am at Yurts Car Park on the day and the race begins at 11.00am; be prepared to get muddy.
(Beecraigs Country Park, Linlithgow, West Lothian EH49 6PL, Monday, 26th December)
You’ll be spoiled for choice with the Lothian Running Club Festive Frolics this year as they offer no less than three different races for varying skill levels.
First off is the Festive Handicap races offering runners the chance to enjoy a handicap run over 7km or 14km starting from the Cockleroy car park and heading east through Beecraigs, round Beecraigs Loch, up the Sawmill hill and returning, via Balvormie, to climb Cockleroy with the longer race being two laps of the shorter first handicap.
Those who are looking for something a little less taxing (and more fun), then the Cockleroy Chaser is a short (about 1km) run up and down Cockleroy that offers runners of all ages to take part,