Thankful for a Turkey Trot

4 years ago
It’s that time of the year again when turkey lovers who love to run gather for an appetite-inducing morning of good-natured competition.

On Thanksgiving Day, or very near it, runners across the U.S. lace up their shoes for some version of the trot. And if you anticipate indulging in a huge Thanksgiving feast, you may want to participate in this fun footrace to burn off a few calories and eat later guilt-free.

Turkey Day Fun Fact: Running a 10K burns 780 calories…..Thanksgiving dinner 750 calories …..Losing weight on Thanksgiving Day….. Priceless.

So, before the big games, the second helpings, the parades and the pie why not get in a little exercise with a few thousand of your friends and neighbors. Better to pound the pavement before you pound the pumpkin pie.

Turkeys runnng via shutterstock

The oldest continually-held Turkey Trot race in the US is held in Buffalo, New York but similar races can be found all across the country. This year’s race in Buffalo will mark the 117th consecutive start.

If you’re on the other coast, you can join about 11,000 people for the beautiful Dana Point Turkey Trot. The race is a USAT&F certified course that includes a tour of the beautiful beaches, majestic cliffs and coves of Dana Point. Feel the pounding surf and cool ocean breezes as you sail through the Dana Point Marina and Doheny State Park. The 5K and 10K run/walk is one of the largest of its kind. You can pre-register online at

There are lots and lots of Turkey Trots in between New York and California so check out ones in your community. They’re often organized by the local Y or run as charity events and they always promote the gratitude celebrations of the season. So, you can exercise and do good at the same time!

Here’s just a sampling of some other Turkey Trots happening Thanksgiving Day(many are already sold out so be sure to check registration before you show up).

Myrtle Beach/Surfside Beach Turkey Trot
Runners participate in one of the largest races in Myrtle Beach. The race starts and finishes at Surfside Pier and the course showcases the town of Surfside and the ocean

Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot is one of the largest Thanksgiving Day events in the country. Starting from humble beginnings 45 years ago at White Rock Lake, it has grown into the undisputed “Way to Begin Thanksgiving Day” for thousands of locals including generations of participants.

Long Beach Turkey Trot will take place on Thurs., Nov. 22th, at the Belmont Pool in Belmont Shore, just two blocks east of the Belmont Pier. The entire 5K/10K is on the very flat, scenic beach bike path.

The 14th annual Naperville Noon Lions Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving morning Thursday November 22nd at 8 a.m. at Naperville Central High School. The 5K USATF certified course is a flat, scenic route through west-central Naperville. The Lion’s Club race benefits those with sight and hearing disorders as well as diabetes.

Woodstock Turkey Trot The third annual 5K and 10K starts and finishes at the Massanutten Military Academy track, and takes runners on a tour of the town of Woodstock, Virginia All proceeds from the event will benefit Luke’s Backpack, a program that provides backpacks filled with nutritious foods to kids in need.

Run Miami’s Turkey Trot Bring the kids and a canned food item to Run Miami’s Turkey Trot in Tropical Park 5K, 10K and kids run. Groups of four or more receive a id="mce_marker"0 discount at registration. Registration caps at 5,000 participants.

Looking for more? Check out to register for a race in your area.

Plan Your Own Turkey Trot. If you can’t find an official race, create your own.  Get together with friends and family for a relaxed run around the neighborhood. Scout a course that will be new and fun  and after the run, get some pumpkin muffins and coffee together. After a few years, you may have a new running group tradition.

And if, for some reason, you can’t (or don’t want t0) run a Turkey Trot, maybe you can gobble at those running the course or throw mashed potatoes at the ones who are too slow (on second thought, don’t do that). Just get out there and run.

Is there a Turkey Trot in your town?

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