One of America’s longest standing Thanksgiving holiday traditions is the turkey trot. People lace up their shoes on Thanksgiving morning to log miles in some of the most unique races across the country. More than 1 million people crossed the finish line of one of the more than 1,000 turkey trots in 2017 alone, according to Vox.
Our team members are participants in these festive trots, so we’re sharing a list should you need inspiration to run before gobbling down the stuffing and pumpkin pie. Miles mitigate some of the Thanksgiving feast calories, right?
Long Beach, New York
This race offers a 1-mile course for younger runners and a 10K as the main event, where trotters get to experience racing on the boardwalk. Participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to benefit those in need in their community!
Charlotte, North Carolina
2019 will mark the 31st anniversary of the Charlotte South Park Turkey Trot, one of Charlotte’s longest-running events, and one of the largest events in North Carolina. The morning kicks off with the 1-Mile Fun Run, followed by the 8K, 5K, and Tot Trot. Motivated trotters can accept the Tuff Turkey Challenge and run both the 5K and 8K! Costumes are encouraged at the SouthPark Turkey Trot and judges pick their favorites.
Glen Rock, New Jersey
This family-friendly 5K run/walk kicks off Thanksgiving morning for families in Glen Rock! Costumes, strollers, and pets are all welcome. Young runners can race in the Kids Fun Run and earn a finishers medal for their achievement.
Spartanburg, South Carolina
This trot benefits Partners for Active Living, a nonprofit working to create an environment and culture that fosters physical activity and healthy eating in Spartanburg County. Participants are asked to make a $10 donation plus a healthy canned good to secure their spot at the starting line. This run has become a tradition for many families since its start in 2005!
Earn the Bird Turkey Trot
Runners who “earned the bird” last year participated in the inaugural year of the race. This year, trotters in the Chicagoland area can run in the North Shore Turkey Trot in Highland Park. Options include a 5K and 10K course, but all runners receive a personal pie as a reward for a race well run!
Dallas boasts one of the largest multi-event races in the country! Dogs and strollers are all welcome at the 5K Run/Walk, 8-Mile race, and the Junior Trot. They even offer a VIP area called “The Roost,” which offers breakfast, coffee, hot chocolate, juice, and fruit for pass-holders before the race begins!
The YMCA puts on their yearly turkey trot to help provide food security to children, families, individuals, and seniors in Pittsburgh. The trot benefits YMCA food pantry programs with the goal of collecting 10,000 pounds of donated food! Like other races, this turkey trot includes a family fun 1-mile run/walk, a classic 5K, and a 5-mile run. If that doesn’t sound like enough, you can choose to sign up for the “Double Gobble” and race in the 5K and the 5 mile!
This trot is rich in history! In 1984, the Bluegrass Runners, Kentucky’s first running club, hosted their first edition of their marquee event, the Thoroughbred Classic. Originally run in September as a 10K, the club changed the distance to a 5K and moved the race to Thanksgiving. Since then, every Thanksgiving morning, runners and walkers from across the country come to Lexington, Kentucky to race on the grounds of Keeneland Race Course.
The Manchester Road Race started in 1927 with just twelve runners and has since grown to more than 15,000 racers! The race also sells tickets for a spaghetti dinner the night before the race to allow runners to fuel up for the event. Runners are also encouraged to donate blood the following day at the Manchester Road Race Blood Drive, the largest blood drive in the state.
Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K/10K
This trot is hosted by the Southeastern Indiana YMCA and is a family-friendly event. Participants can choose to walk or run the 5K or run the 10K. Children under the age of 10 that sign up even get a free goodie bag!
The Woodlands, Texas
A local Thanksgiving morning tradition, YMCA Run Thru the Woods has supported local non-profits with the goal of strengthening The Woodlands, Spring, and Oak Ridge communities for 29 years. There are options for every kind of trotter- a 1-mile walk/run, a 3-mile run, 3-mile walk, 5-mile run, and a 1-mile kids race. Wear your best turkey attire for the costume contest and enjoy the food and photo booth at the post-race party!
Whether you’ll be up early for a trot of your own or sleeping in before your feast, we hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!