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 Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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