By Aimee Williams, Associate Wellness Director at the William G. White, Jr. Family YMCA and Race Director for the 31th Annual YMCA Mistletoe Run

The YMCA Mistletoe Fun Run, 5K, and Half Marathon is a festive tradition in our community and a great way to be healthy as a family. Held the first Saturday in December, this will be our 31st annual race. At the Y, we believe in helping families develop new skills and interests, improve their health and well-being, and connect to the community. Creating a family-friendly event is a huge focus for all the volunteers and staff who make the Mistletoe Run possible. Here are the five top reasons you should consider participating:

1. Family Time can be Training Time. Many families train together to participate in the fun run or 5K. Runners, walkers, and strollers are all welcome so it’s a great event for your first race as a family. The Fun Run is a one-mile event that takes place before the 5K and Half Marathon begin. Participants even get a t-shirt! The 5k is 3.1 miles, which is a better distance for older children or children in strollers.

2. Lots of Kids and Families Participate. We welcome beginners to serious athletes and everyone in between. One thing you will notice about the Mistletoe is there are tons of kids, families, and people of all ages and ability levels who get involved either to cheer others on or to run or walk. Local students also get involved through their school’s running groups, as well as participation from the Mount Tabor High School Color Guard and the R.J. Reynolds High School Acapella group.

3. Free Childcare During the Race. As a mom of three, I know how hard it can be to find even a little time for yourself, let alone time to run a race. We offer childcare for all participants in our 5k and Half Marathon in a safe, fun environment. We will have special activities set up so the kids have lots of fun while parents race.

4. Awesome activities and after party. The Mistletoe Run doesn’t end when you cross the finish line! We host a popular after-party with post-race fuel for the participants, as well as bounce houses, music, a photo booth, and much more.

5. The Cause. Proceeds from the YMCA Mistletoe Run go toward helping children live healthier. Our goal is to stop childhood obesity with important education and activity programs in the community, such as the Y’s Healthy, Fit and Strong program.

Have additional questions? Visit our FAQ here. Registration is going on now at the William G. White, Jr. Family YMCA and online, with limited registration on race day. Don’t forget to stay in the loop at or find us on Instagram.

Do you have a favorite YMCA Mistletoe Run memory? Please share in the comments below!

*Sponsored by the YMCA of Northwest NC