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How to Plan a Christmas Light Run

Pictures of BAMRs on Christmas light runs keep popping up in our Instagram feed. Donning a little jingle and jangle, then running through the neighborhoods with the best festive show looks like so much fun -- but we needed some guidance. So we asked around. Whether you’re an old pro or a planning newbie, you’ll find some tips here. 

Alana is in the glowing tutu.

Alana Erin I am the planner and this year will be our third annual holiday lights run! It’s pretty simple, I just pick a date and make a Facebook event. It’s a 4-ish mile route. I provide a printed map and there are 4 houses with major displays. We stop to oooh and aahhh, snap some pics, and move on. We dress festively (light up tutus, jingle bells) and one person even played holiday music out loud on their phone. I organized this a few years ago out of selfishness: I love holiday light displays and thought what an awesome way to go see them. Last year we requested donations for a local food pantry and it was a total success!

Darci takes in the lights.

Darci Shaw A small group from our run club went out last night! It was a 45-minute run through the lights ending with drinks after. Nothing fancy but tons of fun!

Kristen and the S.W.I.F.T. group.

Kristen Kelly Liebsch We started in 2013, when a few of us just decided to go out and run and see the lights. Our destinations were determined by where in town we knew were the best decorations. S.W.I.F.T. (Strong Women in Fitness Together) caught wind of it and asked me to plan one for the following year and make it official.

For 2014, we had to corral a few official run leaders to handle the routes and crowd: we offered it as all-inclusive so there were three distances and all paces from walk to walk-run to run were accommodated. I mapped out three routes, established the best meeting place — we all left from the clock in our village — then we returned to a local establishment for post-run festivities. It has become a yearly tradition.

We have determined that it is best to do it on a midweek night starting at 8. Everyone is encouraged to wear festive attire. We double check who does and does not have nighttime running gear and we team up to share. This year, I will dust off my Halloween costume the Leg Lamp, which is my nickname in this loverly running group, and run in that!

No, this isn’t holiday themed. It’s just an awesome picture of Tina.

Tina Mickelson I make a local Facebook event, and tag or call get my friends involved. I plan a loop route with stops so the slower runners can keep up. encourage the runners to wear fun hats, bells, and lights to “Christmas up” their outfits! At the end, we meet at a coffee shop or have cookies and hot cocoa in the back of a car ready to drink.

And, finally, a run that isn’t planned by another mother runner but does definitely include one of our favorite parenting moments: embarrassing our teenagers.

These balls won’t run themselves.

Jennifer Pope Edwards I don’t plan one, but I participate in The Running of the Balls in Greensboro, N.C. The run goes through a beautiful neighborhood that hangs lighted balls in the trees. My 14-year old son runs it with me and enjoys the double entendre!

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