Best Thanksgiving Turkey Trots Around the U.S.

Dreaming of piling your plate high on Thursday? Twice? We all love to eat special comfort foods on Thanksgiving. But it comes at a cost, of course. The typical Thanksgiving celebrant consumes as many as 3,000 calories for this famous meal. That’s a day and half’s worth of calories! But no wants to think about all the calories in mom’s creamed spinach or grandma’s pecan pie with whipped cream. It’s a holiday, and our purpose is to be grateful for such a bounty.


Still, it’s a lot of intake. To eat with a little less guilt, or to crank up that appetite, many Americans start their Thanksgiving Day with a fun Turkey Trot. These are great family friendly events with a variety of races that include both walking and running. Those who are still lamenting Halloween are encouraged to come dressed in your Thanksgiving finest – many races award for best costume. Here are some super star Turkey Trots around the country!

Cleveland Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot Road Race

The Sixth City has a variety of races in downtown Cleveland. The first race starts at the humane hour of 8:45 AM with a 1 Mile Fun Run. As the morning progresses, so do the intensity of runs. A 5K Timed Run/Walk precedes the tougher 5 Mile Timed Run/Walk, which takes off at the same time. You win big in Cleveland, prizes include medals, t-shirts, goodie bags, and there’s even a costume contest!

South Davis Thanksgiving Races

Fittingly, this holiday race takes place in West Bountiful, UT. The race takes place in a beautiful mountain town, and has options for everyone – the Turkey 10K, the Family 5K, and the Gobbler 1K for kids – the 5K and 1K are all right turns, so no one gets lost!

San Francisco Turkey Trot

This run is priced by calorie, so you know just how many pieces of cornbread to splurge on at dinner. Run the five mile Trail trot for six hundred calories, three mile Pilgrim Promenade for three hundred calories, or the Kids Gobbler Chase at 100 meters, totaling eight calories (maybe run that one a few times).

Mile High United Way Turkey Trot

Denver’s race is also one of the top ten largest in the nation. Run in part with the United Way, in 2016 the trot earned over $400,000 for the United Way. The four mile walk and run is a bit more challenging than may seem due to Denver’s high altitude. Those conquering the thin air are rewarded with a post-race celebration with coffee, music, and beer.

San Dimas Turkey Trot

In San Dimas, outside Los Angeles, you won’t find your typical road run. Instead, this trot takes participants through both dirt and paved trails, with stunning views of lakes and mountains. Bring the kids, this run or walk has 10K, 5K, or a half mile kids run.

Delaware YMCA Buffalo 8K

Buffalo, New York’s turkey trot has been up and running since 1896! With that kind of history, it’s not surprising that last year this was the second largest Turkey Trot in the nation. The race is a fundraiser, and money earned helps the YMCA access serve and help those who could not otherwise afford costs to join a YMCA. Registration is already closed for this race, but you can still show up and watch this historic event.

Fat Turkey Trail Run

The good people of Tempe, Arizona have thought this whole trot thing through. Instead of running pre-gorge, this race takes place the Saturday after the fact, so you can run off Friday’s left overs, too. Options include a 10K or 5K trail walk or run, with a big old fat “turkey” running along with you – if you beat the turkey, you get a pint glass. There’s some motivation to put those mashed potatoes to use!

Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon & 5K

Looking to really burn your stuffing at dinner? Atlanta’s Turkey Trot is serious. You can run a half mile and get your personal best, and really eat without the guilt. Those who want to keep it light can run a 5K, 1 Mile, or 50m dash, great for those who are into speed. Winners get a turkey, and everyone can participate in a post-race party after claiming their medals.

Columbia Turkey Chase 10K and Relay

The residents of Columbia, Maryland are a competitive bunch. This event includes a 10K for the serious runner, and a relay for those who want to WIN. The course has “slightly rolling and fast course” in local roads, so get ready to move! Kids can also take part in a fun run.

Grub Run

Fort Worth residents who partake in their local Turkey Trot really want to encourage speed – this event takes place on the Texas Motor Speedway, so get your engines revving! Participants are required bring 5 canned goods to donate to the Tarrant Area Food Bank.


Applied Materials Turkey Trot

This sponsored Turkey Trot in San Jose, California was 2016’s largest in the nation. There’s no wonder – the race has options for 10K, 5K, and a Kids run. The proceeds go to a variety of charities such as children’s vision aid, hunger organizations, and non-profits aiding homeless with affordable housing. It’s an excellent race, you’re running not just for fun, but to give someone else something to be grateful for.

Do you race before Thanksgiving? Go for a run? What’s your favorite Turkey Trot?

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Best Thanksgiving Turkey Trots Around the U.S.

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