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The 9 Best Ways To Celebrate A Runner’s Birthday

Plan the best birthday celebration for runner friends. Or treat yo' self on your big day!

Birthdays are a chance to celebrate ourselves while doing something we love: running. We can also celebrate the runners in our lives who are turning a year older. Below are some unique and festive ways to celebrate your day or the day of a loved one:

Run the number of miles (or kilometers) you are turning.

This is a great idea, especially if you are turning 5 years old. If you are turning 50, then let’s hope you are in the best shape of your life. Hell, Dean Karnazes ran 30 miles on his 30th birthday, and he wasn’t even a runner at the time (but he is likely super human). If miles are too much, kilometers tend to work better—although it could still be a long run!

Send a special running card.

Some companies now make e-cards and paper cards specifically for runners. even has a special section for running related cards!

Give a gift basket or care package tailored to runners.

Put together a basket with unique flavored gels, a nice pair of running socks, an anti-chafe stick, toilet paper, a Road ID, protein bars or anything else you can think of.

Run a race in your own honor.

Regardless of the season, there seem to be races every weekend. To celebrate, pick a race and do it to celebrate your own birthday. Write “Happy Birthday” on your bib to get some special attention from spectators.

Give a race entry as a gift.

No runner will likely ever turn down a “free” race entry. Find a fun run in the city where the birthday runner lives and sign them up! Wrap up the race registration in a nice bow and present it to him or her with a running trinket like a bumper sticker or necklace charm.

Send a videogram from an elite athlete.

Check out, a service that helps make elite track and field athletes more relatable to all runners. You can find athletes like Meb Keflezighi and Ryan Hall on this site. Once you are connected, you can request a private videogram be sent from the athlete to your birthday friend!

Plan for a spa day.

Nothing feels better than a massage after a tough run or race. Plan for a day of relaxation for your big day. Or go book something like a manicure/pedicure for your birthday runner. It’s important to treat yo’ self!

Have a running party.

Invite all of your friends to meet at your driveway, your favorite trailhead or a parking lot somewhere. Go on a run together and then go out afterward for post-run brunch, lunch or beers.

Eat what you burn.

Give yourself the gift of overindulging. For fun, calculate about how many calories you burn on a run (roughly 100 calories per mile). Then have a blast replacing these calories with some decadent treat you rarely give yourself.