Tired of pigging out for the whole of December and January? Here are some of the best events over Christmas for the adventurous among you to enjoy.

Christmas is the one time we all get a few days off from the realities of life and get to return home and curl up on the couch with family and friends, stuff your face guilt free and watch box sets by the fire and glow of the Christmas tree. But to make this holiday a bit more special, why not move outside your comfort zone slightly and check out one of these great events? Go to a talk, sign up for a race or take a plunge into the sea on Christmas Day. It may be cold outside, but we can promise that you won’t regret it. Without further ado, here are some of the best events to do this Christmas.

1. Santa Dash Dublin

Date: 2 Dec 2018

Running and Hiking Events in Ireland

Upon entry to this 5k or 10k event, all participants will be given a free Santa outfit. You know what that means! On 2 December, when the race gun goes off, everyone will be running their hearts out in Santa costumes on the beach on North Bull Island, Clontarf. There will be a blow-up igloo and many blow-up Santa’s to guide your way on the beach!

More info: Santa Dash

2. Lynam Lecture 2018: People, Peaks, and Places: Off the Beaten Track by Paddy O’Leary

Date: 6 Dec 2018

Christmas Events

Paddy O’Leary will be the star of this year’s Lynam lecture. Mountaineering has been Paddy’s passion for over 60 years. He was the leader of the first Irish expeditions to the Himalayas and Peru, and even explored the remote peaks of the Mountains of the Moon in Zaire, Bogda Ola in China and the districts of Kinnaur and Spiti in India. In addition, he was Director of the National Adventure Centre at Tiglin in Wicklow for twenty years, was a founding member of the Spillikin Club, the Association for Adventure Sports and the body which has become Mountaineering Ireland. Basically, he’s a legend! It’s not to be missed.

More info: Mountaineering.ie

3. Great Outdoors Santa Abseil and Climbing Extravaganza

Date: 8 Dec 2018

Christmas Events for the Adventurous

This great family event takes place annually at Great Outdoors HQ on Chatham Street in Dublin. Santa himself will abseil down the building of the city centre store, making an impressive entrance inside to the Great Outdoors grotto. Kicking off with a street party, Santa will make his grand entrance before retiring to his grotto to find out what all of the kids want for Christmas. While the kids are preoccupied, it’s the perfect opportunity for some present shopping

More info: Great Outdoors

4. Extreme Ireland Mountain Skills 2

Date: 15-16 Dec 2018

Christmas Events for the Adventurous

A mountain skills course is a must for every avid hiker. Learning to navigate is one of the most important survival skills. Extreme Ireland runs great skills courses. Mountain Skills I will give you a general introduction to hill walking in Ireland. You’ll learn about map reading, mountain safety and hazards equipment and navigation so you’ll be safely able to pursue hill walking as a hobby.

More info: Extreme Ireland

12 of the Best Christmas Gifts for Cyclists

5. GOAL Mile 2018

Date: 25 Dec 2018

Christmas Events for the Adventurous

You’ve heard of the traditional Christmas Day swim, but if you’re not keen to get that cold, then the perfect alternative is to run a mile. The Goal Mile was established three decades ago and has now grown to become one of Ireland’s most popular annual fundraisers. In recent years, 30,000+ people have taken part in locations across the country raising over €200,000 for the charity. Plus, it’ll ease the guilt when you reach out for second helpings of each course.

More info: GOAL

6. Christmas Day Swim

Date: 25 December 2018

Image: Frank Mc

Christmas Day Swim, the Polar Plunge… whatever you want to call it, it is without a doubt one of the best/maddest thing to do on Christmas Day. We are big fans! Join the throngs of festive souls that will brave the icy waters of the Irish Sea and Atlantic this Christmas Day. With events held up and down the country, you’ll be sure to find a few kindred spirits in their togs to have a swim with and celebrate the day that’s in it. To get you started on your search – the Forty Foot in Co. Dublin has hundreds of people out each year to jump into the icy waters!

7. IMRA Djouce Remembrance Race

Date: 27 Dec 2018

Christmas Events
Image: Action Photography

Perfect for working off the Christmas dinner, this 8km race takes place in Djouce Woods. Fancy Dress is encouraged at this event which aims to remember those IMRA runners who have died.

More info: IMRA

8. Fanore Burren Christmas 10k/5k

Date: 29 December 2018

Christmas Events for the Adventurous
Image: Kevin E Byrne Photography

What better way to burn off the Christmas calories than a nice 5km or 10km run through the wilds of The Burren. The best part of this race is that it is themed! And this year the theme is based on Biddy Early, Ireland’s famous traditional herbalist – an East Clare legend.

More info: Fanore

9. The Art O Neill Challenge

Date: 11 Jan 2019

Running and Hiking Events in Ireland

The annual Art O’Neill Challenge is one of our must-do events for the hard-core out there. Ultra runners, hikers and hybrids gather at midnight to start the race. Participants finish at some stage the next day at any time between 6am and 3pm. The 55km hiking/running event is the stuff of legends. It traces the escape route that Art O’Neill and Red Hugh O’Donnell took in 1592 when escaping Dublin Castle. It is run in association with Great Outdoors and in aid of Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue.

More info: Art O’Neill Challenge

10. Hellfire

Date: 12 Jan 2019

Christmas Events
Image: Action Photography

IMRA is back with their intense Hellfire race, comprising of a run in and then two laps of a 2.5k loop over rough, rugged, and muddy terrain. The 6.4km route will get your heart rate accelerated and keep you on your toes in the new year!

More info: IMRA

10 of the Best Christmas Gifts for Runners


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