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If you’re looking for something festive and fun to do during the holidays, check your area for short distance runs and races. We did the Sportsbackers Tacky Lights Run this year as a family, and it was a blast! Getting our bodies moving really help beat some of that holiday stress! It helps, of course, that it was unseasonably warm for this time of year in Virginia.

Tacky-Lights Run 2015

One thing that really makes this different from other races is that it takes place in the evening. Having done similar runs in the morning, I wasn’t sure how my body was going to react. I have to say that it went much better than I expected! My legs never got those crazy cramps since I was already warmed up and ready to go! 

Getting Crafty!

We spent the afternoon using supplies leftover from Hayley’s cosplay days. Putting our sewing skills to the test, we made ourselves vests with red, white and gold fabric and decorated them (and cheap Christmas hats) with buttons, bows and other silly stuff. We bought a package of glow sticks that could be used as necklaces, bracelets and earrings. We also wore the flashy bling given to us by race organizers.

Tacky-Lights Run 2015

When we got there, we noticed that other people had threaded thin glow sticks through their stroller wheels. Fortunately, I had brought extras so we quickly copied. We also put some battery-operated Christmas lights all around Caleb to make his ride more festive! Once we were all decked out, we looked ridiculous but it was so much fun. There were thousands of people and the music was so great at the starting line.

Cool, Fun Family Race!

Once we got going, it was cool that the course led us through neighborhoods. We even saw houses that competed in the Tacky Lights Tour! Many of the residents were camped out together, projecting movies such as Elf onto outdoor screens for the walkers/runners to see. They handed out treats (shots to the grown-ups), cheered us on and even sang carols. What a fun way to celebrate the holiday season! 

Being in crowds can be stressful, but huffing and puffing through this hilly course helped fight anxietyCaleb stayed asleep for most of the race, but woke up in time to see some of the best lights. He enjoyed it so much that he started crying when we hit the dark patches! 

Tacky-Lights Run 2015

In the end, I skipped going all the way back down the hill to the starting/finishing area and Josh collected my medal for me. We used Map My Run to keep track of distance, and according to those calculations, we walked 7.14km. Not a bad haul since I was only expecting it to be a 5k — but that’s because I didn’t read the website properly!

Afterwards, we came home, had a nice meal and pigged out on chocolate. Our bodies had gotten a good workout and our minds felt rested. It was a great way to feel the holiday spirit and get our anxiety symptoms under control. Between our tired legs and full bellies, we all definitely slept well that night!