Working out in winter might seem like a total bummer, or it might be the only way you keep warm. Either way, staying motivated and on-track with your fitness plans during the winter months is difficult. Lighten up the mood and keep your festive spirits high with holiday 5Ks around West Michigan. Just keep safety in mind when running out there — head to any of the Gazelle Sports locations in West Michigan to get fitted with the perfect pair of cold-weather running shoes.
Allegan Ugly Sweater 5K
Dec. 2, 3 p.m.
For this run, all you need is a solid pair of running shoes, that one ugly sweater you own and some warm base layers. Head down to Allegan Riverfront for a run that awards different levels of runners, along with awards for “Ugliest” sweater. It’s a great family event with on-course entertainment. Allegan, alleganuglysweater.com
St. Nick Kick
Dec. 2, 10 a.m.
If you’re serious about short distance runs, head to Newaygo for the St. Nick Kick. The seventh annual event is a friendly 5K and 10K run, as well as a 1-mile walk for all ages. St. Nick attracts some of the best competitive athletes from around West Michigan and other corners of the state to round out the field. The event is sponsored by Choice One Bank. Newaygo High School, 200 East St., Newaygo
Run Through The Lights
Dec. 7, 6 p.m.
This untimed fun run takes crowds of people through downtown Kalamazoo to experience the Christmas lights throughout. The non-competitive, 2.4-mile run/walk is for both adults and kids. Proceeds benefit Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes and the event is hosted by Gazelle Sports. Bronson Park, 200 S. Rose St., Kalamazoo, gazellesports.com
The Whoville 5K
Dec. 10, 1 p.m.
This fun run 5K — or close to that (they’re not sure of the exact distance) — is for everyone. The festive run is the happiest 5K this side of the mitten. No matter how you place, everyone receives a T-shirt, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. Returning this year, Cat in the Hat, Thing 1, Thing 2, Thing 3, Thing 4, Thing 23, Thing 32 and the Grinch will all be there doing whatever they do, along with Santa and the infamous Mr. and Mrs. Mayor. The kids’ fun run features a snowball fight. Be sure to dress up in your Who-iest outfit. Riverside Park, 2001 Monroe Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, whoville5k.com