Friday Five: December Events You Can’t Miss

Temperatures have cooled, and outdoor exercise has become slightly more difficult. Going out for a run requires more than just tying up your shoes and hitting the road; the cold weather forces us to add layers, gloves, and more protection that we wouldn’t usually consider for the majority of the year.

But that’s winter. It doesn’t exactly sneak up on us out of nowhere–we generally know what to expect around this time of year. Our best weapon: adaptation.

We learn to deal with the cold weather, the snow, and the howling winds. What’s more, we embrace these conditions and continue to live our lives and challenge ourselves. Look no further than the topic of this week’s Friday Five: December events (and one in January) that continue this theme of accepting the winter conditions and finding opportunities to get out and exercise.

1. Run Through the Lights

Dec. 6, Kalamazoo

Many of us like to get in our daily exercise after work, so why not help out a good cause while doing so? Help out your fellow Michiganders by joining the Run Through the Lights, taking place at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Kalamazoo. All proceeds from this un-timed, non-competitive 5K will go to benefit Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes and the fight against hunger in Michigan. Each runner is asked to bring at least one non-perishable food item for donation. The 2011 race produced more than 2,600 pounds of food, a goal Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes is looking to beat this year.

Event Website

2. Run Like the Dickens

Dec. 8, Holly

Join the city of Holly as they celebrate ten years of Run Like the Dickens. Runners can choose either a 10K or 5K, and kids have the option to do the Tiny Tim Trot–featuring three different distances for kids to run. The Holly High School Choir will be on hand to perform holiday carols throughout the morning, and athletes can check out the nearby expo for more postrace entertainment. Proceeds from Run Like the Dickens will go towards Holly youth running programs.

Event Website

3. Big Bad Wolf Cyclocross Race

Dec. 9, Midland

The Stomach of Anger cyclocross tour makes its final stop outside of Midland on Dec. 9, for the Big Bad Wolf race. Big Bad Wolf will feature some of the best cyclocross riders from around the state, and plenty more up-and-comers. Haven’t raced cyclocross before? Not a problem! First-time racers get in for just five dollars, and get a look at one of the toughest courses in Michigan. If you’re looking to test your endurance and cycling skills, Big Bad Wolf is right for you.

Event Website

4. Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

Dec. 15, Bloomfield Hills

Get in some quality exercise while helping fight a terrible disease. The Jingle Bell Run event series makes its way to Bloomfield Hills on Dec. 15 to help raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. The course begins at Covington School and explores some of the Bloomfield Hills neighborhoods before heading back. Runners entered in the 10K will repeat the course. Donations are strongly encouraged, and special prizes will be awarded for various levels of giving.

Event Website

5. Don Jaqua New Year’s Day Memorial Ride

Jan. 1, 2013, Birmingham

Ring in the new year on your bike! Join the League of Michigan Bicyclists in Birmingham to help celebrate the life of Don Jaqua, a lifelong cycling advocate. Riders will embark on a casual 10- to 25-mile ride through the Birmingham area, all to help support Michigan Youth Cycling. Make a healthier lifestyle one of your New Year’s Resolutions, and get started as soon as possible!

Event Website

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