Events | Upcoming

Tucson Jewish Community Center Shines the Light of Hanukkah with 7th Annual Hanukkah Hot Cocoa Run

The Tucson Jewish Community Center (the J or the Tucson J) welcomes people of all ages, abilities, and faiths to share in the warmth and joy of Hanukkah Sunday, December 17 from 7:30am-11am with the 7th Annual Hanukkah Hot Cocoa Run sponsored by Tucson Medical Center (TMC) and in partnership with the Southern Arizona Roadrunners (as a SAR Good Neighbor Race) and Southwest Endurance Training (SWET).

Each year, the event is an opportunity to invite the broader community in for a moment of learning about the holiday and the experience of Hanukkah ruach (spirit), but it holds extra significance this year during the darkness of war times when it is more important than ever to shine our light into the world as proud Jewish people.

The race offers a free-to-enter 1K Fun Run and paid entry 1 Mile, and 5K options. New this year for runners is the “Double Chocolate Run” – a 5K plus 1 mile course. Registration is open with early-bird pricing now through race day, with a cost increase December 1. Day of registration will be available. Packet pick-up is available from 12-5:30pm on Friday, December 15, and 8am-5:30pm on Saturday, December 16.

As in years’ past, runners receive hot chocolate, race shirts (paid participants only) and swag bags with goodies from TMC, Hughes Federal Credit Union and more. Top finishers receive commemorative mugs and additional prizes from Lululemon.

Also new for 2023: Bounce Houses and face painting for the kids, plus a number of vendors joining the fun including a bike shop, local wellness practitioners, and more.

“In the spirit of spreading the light of Hanukkah while promoting the J’s mission to foster wellness, all are welcome to join in the Hanukkah spirit together at the Tucson J for a fun, family-friendly morning of walking, running, or wheeling and a cup of hot cocoa,” said Mallory Shenker, Director of Athletics and Aquatics at the J, adding that, “it is always a good time for community, but the message of the holiday reminds us that in dark times and joyful times, we shine more brightly together.”

While the event takes place at the Tucson J, it is proud to welcome additional partners aboard this year to expand reach into the community and deepen relationships with local groups who share in the mission to make wellness accessible for everyone. One benefit of the partnership: Southwest Endurance Training offered a ten-week Running Start pre-race prep program as a way for runners of all levels, including those brand-new to running, to prepare for the race and make new running friends in a relaxed environment.

Come for the cocoa, stay for the community! With over 120 runners participating in the run in 2022, and participation increasing each year since the virtual race of 2020, there will be enough cocoa and sufganiyot on hand for many more.


5k: 6:30am check-in; 7:30am start

Cost: $25 Early Bird /$30 Nov 1-Dec 1 /$35 Dec 1-16

1 mile: 8:15am

Cost: $15 Early Bird/$20 Nov 1-Dec 1/$35 Dec 1-16

Double Chocolate (5k+1m): 7:30am

Cost: $30 Early Bird/$40 Nov 1-Dec 1/$50 Dec 1-16

1K (fun run): 8:30am

Cost: FREE (race shirt can be purchased separately for $10)

More information can be found at Please reach out to Mallory Shenker, at with questions about accessibility needs or accommodations.