As a little girl, I always felt sorry for the adults at Christmas. While I sat amid a pile of toys, books and games and stuffed my face with as much holiday cheer as I could chew, the adults sat calmly in their chairs, oohing and ahhing over the children’s presents and politely abstaining from said face stuffing.

Hardly seemed like fun to me.

I suppose I’m still a child at heart because I still love Christmas. I admit that I still participate in stuffing my face, although I do use a napkin now and try to swallow before I take a second bite.

I fully expect gifts under the tree. In fact, I still make a list, albeit it’s a bit different from the lists of my childhood. Instead of dolls and toys, I primarily ask for anything running-related.

In hopes that my fellow runners are looking to make their holidays a little happier, allow me to share my 2011 Christmas list. Maybe it will inspire loved ones to buy one of these gifts for you, or maybe it will inspire you to buy them for yourself. Either way, enjoy.

  • Injinji socks. Odd as they look, these socks offer protection from blisters, an ailment I’m all too familiar with. Each little toe has its own compartment. Gloves for feet, I like to call them.
  • Running ornaments. They’re everywhere from online stores to our local running stores. A nice way to proclaim your love for the sport and the holidays all at once.
  • Sweaty Moms Running Club. I love the look of a woman post-run and this club embraces sweaty moms around the world. Named after a nonsweaty mom made an off-handed comment about a mom who was always sweaty as she squeezed in her runs during her kids’ after-school activities, the SMRC offers moms a friendly place to strut their sweaty stuff. They sell cotton post-workout T-shirts as well as technical Ts proudly boasting bold statements such as “Sweaty ... the new hot.” Contact Jennifer Andress at for ordering info.
  • iTunes gift cards. Perfect for buying music and podcasts for those long runs.
  • Runners hygiene pack. Find an inexpensive and reusable gym sack and fill it with handi-wipes, sunscreen, lip balm, deodorant and vasoline. They can throw it in the trunk of their car and be ready to run wherever they are.
  • Bib folio. What do you do with all the bib numbers you get from races? If you hate stuffing them in a box but don’t have time to scrapbook them, a bib folio is an easy way to store and display your numbers. Gone For a Run is a great website that offers these and many other display items.
  • LightGuide LED Multi-use LightBand. With the days so short, the more visible a runner is, the better. These $20 blinking lights could very well save a runner’s life.
  • Running charms. For every marathon I finish, my husband buys me a little charm with the race name and my finish time. It’s a special way to commemorate all my hard work. My goal is to have so many charms that you can hear me coming down the street a mile away.
  • Mile 22 Bags. There is a company that creates custom bags personalized from your own race memorabilia. They can use T-shirts, bib numbers, pictures, maps, heat sheets or any other flat item you have. They will send back any material they don’t use and you have a useful item made from momentos that may otherwise remain in a box in the closet. You can find them at
  • Gift cards to your local running store. Not only does your favorite runner get to pick what they want, but you’re supporting local businesses.

There’s no need to be so adult this time of year. Christmas is for everyone and for runners, it can indeed be the most wonderful time of year.

Kim Cowart is a wife, mother, 24-Hour Fitness instructor and marathoner who runs partly for the joy of stuffing her face during the holidays.