Run-spired ways to celebrate your birthday with your running friends

On Monday, I turned 40. (What? How are you 40? You look great!) Thank you, thank you … the secret is to use an average camera and wear a hat to cover grey!

To celebrate my birthday, I invited friends over to go for a run. It’s something that I’ve been doing for years – two years ago, I planned an elaborate scavenger hunt that doubled as a surprise proposal for two of my dear friends. Last year, I joined my Sunstone Run Club buddies to run 10 miles with an aid station stop at my house. This year, we left from my house for a 5-mile and 3-mile run, followed by a “Mimosa Mile,” and then chatted over omelettes, caramel rolls, and cupcakes.

Have you ever planned a running-related birthday celebration? Here are a few suggestions of things you can do:

  1. Make it easy and find a race that you can run with all your friends! You can always head to a nearby restaurant after the race and get brunch together.
  2. Progression Run (not the kind where you get faster each mile): This works great if you have a lot of friends in the neighborhood. Run to each friend’s house in order and pick someone up at each house – change up the order to accomodate mileage for various runners. This also works for a great surprise birthday run: invite the birthday runner to go for a run with you and arrange for a friend to hop in with you each quarter-mile or so.
  3. Rally friends to run “your year” – for example, if you’re turning 30, find 29 friends so there are 30 of you. Or run a sum of 30 miles together (or kilometers, to keep the distance manageable).
  4. Put together a scavenger hunt of your favorite routes or businesses if you’re able to get them in on the run. Tasks can be as simple as taking a photo at each of your checkpoints, or you can create puzzles at each stop to direct your friends to the next location.
  5. Volunteer at a race – offer to put together an aid station and deck it out with banners, balloons, and cake. Not only will you be having a great time with friends, you’ll be supporting other runners and they will LOVE the energy.
  6. Run a Beer Mile or do what I did (suggested by my friend Stacey Lee): Have a Mimosa Mile. Another friend (thanks Jeff!) wheeled the route for me so it was an accurate distance, and we set up a table with mimosas (and plain OJ for those who don’t drink). Four drinks, four laps, and you’ve got a beer mile (or mimosa mile) on the books.

Birthday revelers Kate Ellingsen, Nichole Castaneda, and Kelly Barten.

About Kelly Barten (1152 Articles)
I started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because I felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. I also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support LOCAL race organizers. I'm a Creighton Bluejay (undergrad) and an Oregon Duck (Sports Marketing MBA), and I live in Tigard with my husband and two kids. My "real job" is working for an incredibly awesome math textbook company doing marketing and production.
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