The top winter running events in and around Toronto may seem downright torturous to some, but real runners know how to gear up and brave the cold, no matter what. Training through the winter makes for personal bests come spring, so pack a snot rag and shake a leg.
Here are my picks for winter running events in and around Toronto this year.
Santa Shuffle 5K fun run/1K walk - Saturday, December 5th
Sunnybrook Park will host festive do-gooders for the Salvation Army's important Gateway Drop-In program, which provides shelter and meals for those in need.
Tannenbaum 10K - Sunday, December 6th
Leave your earbuds at home and instead revel in rocking carols for the annual Tannenbaum 10K run in support of Centre 55's Share a Christmas Program.
Toronto Santa Speedo Run - Saturday, December 12th
Svelteness is not a requirement (but surely a bonus) for the Yorkville-based Santa Speedo Run. Participants strip down to their skivvies and run 3K in support of Sick Kids Hospital.
Boxing Day 10 (or 4) Miler - Saturday, December 26th
Just to the southwest of Toronto lies Hammertown, home of the Hamilton Harriers and their 95 year old race. Burn off all the egg nog with a race born before Canada went metric.
Toronto Midnite New Year's Eve Run - Thursday, December 31st
This party-like run starts at midnight in Liberty Village and continues at Bar Vespa after a 5K run. Free champagne at the finish line, so maybe this'll be your fastest run of '15.
Hair of the Dog - Friday, January 1st
There's no better cure for what ails you then a 9K (or 3K) run through the cold. Join Beach-based runners for the race, and a post-run polar bear dip in the lake. Brrrrr.
MEC Race 1 - Sunday, January 24th
A cheapie race coming in at only $15 entry, this 5 or 8K run is part of a series that MEC hosts every year that brings out seasoned runners all competing for PBs along the Martin Goodman Trail.
Robbie Burns 8K Road Race - Sunday, January 24th
While there won't be any Scotch at the finish line, there will be plenty of kilts (and likely chafing). Choose between 5K or 8K routes with all funds raised going to JumpStart.
Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause - Saturday, February 27th
Move over pandas, Polar Bears are taking the spotlight for this zoo-based run, with runners scoring free admission and offering their help to save the bears with a 1K or 5K fun run.
Chilly Half Marathon - Sunday, March 6th
The 20th anniversary of this half marathon (or frosty 5K) will bring runners west to tackle the rolling hills of Burlington, which officially kicks off the beginning of spring training.
Writing by Libby Roach. Photo of the Santa Speedo Run by Jesse Milns.
by Libby Roach via blogTO