The Best Turkey Trots from The Best Turkey Trots

The Best Turkey Trots

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The Best Turkey Trots

Winning a Turkey Trot may not be as prestigious as finishing first in the NYC Marathon, but participating in both is equally fun and exciting. Start Thanksgiving Day in a healthy way with some exercise – whether running or walking five or 10 miles – and win prizes for displaying your creativity with the best costume. Many people take the opportunity to start the holiday by entering a race to give thanks. The event usually has been organized with a charitable purpose. Proceeds go to shelters, food banks and even for medical research. Even more fittingly, most turkey trots are held in support of non-profit organizations and causes.

The Plymouth Turkey Trot, Massachusetts

You can’t get much closer to the first Thanksgiving than this. The Plymouth Turkey Trot starts at Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims reputedly landed; the Pilgrim 5K runs down the oldest road in America, one that would have been familiar to settlers and Native Americans in the 1600s.

Dallas Turkey Trot, Texas

More than 30,000 participants are expected for this year’s races, an 8-miler and a 5K fun run/walk. The unusual distance came about because at the first race in 1968 the 107 people were told to run along the shores of White Rock Lake “to the big oak tree and back.” Turned out that was 8 miles. In 2011, the race set a record for the largest gathering of people dressed as turkeys, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Run For The Diamonds, Berwick, Pennsylvania

Forget running for the T-shirt as a gift. There are diamond rings for the first seven men home and diamond pendants for the first seven women. This centurion among Thanksgiving Day races is a throwback to hard-scrabble races of yore. The challenging 9-mile course is famous for its lung-busting Summit Hill and weather as rugged as the course.

Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot, New York

This year’s running will be the 120th and attract a field of up to 14,000. This 5-miler, founded by the local YMCA in 1896, is the oldest Thanksgiving Day race and claims to be the oldest continuously run public footrace in the U.S. Since 1896 runners have competed in the cross country race. The race attracts serious runners, amateurs, and team competitors alike.

Honolulu Marathon Clinic Turkey Trot, Hawaii

This is probably the most scenic turkey trots of all. A beautiful 10-miler through Kapiolani Park with Diamond Head to one side and the Pacific Ocean to the other, although the exact course isn’t revealed until the day. Another quirk: Prizes don't go the fastest, but to those who are closest to their own pre-race-predicted times. Practicing running at goal pace for the first ten mile of a marathon is what makes this Turkey Trot a clinic.

The Annual Turkey Trek, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The race is a true family event. Every member can participate in a discipline - 5K (3.1 Miles) Run Fitness Walk, Kids 1K Fun Run, and a USAT&F Certified 5K Race Course. Each entry includes a free massage, post-race refreshments, 3-day membership to a wellness resort, free ticket to the Balloon Museum and other discounts. Some may say that the real challenge is the costume contest. A man, woman and child are pronounced winners.

Pensacola Beach Trot for Thought, Florida

Run along one of Florida’s most beautiful beaches and do it for a good cause. The annual 5k event’s proceeds benefit brain cancer research and the Preston Robert Tisch Tumor Center at Duke University. Entering its sixth year, the Turkey Trot will welcome more than 1,000 participants from throughout the country. Your dog can run with you, too. The youngsters can participate in the Turkey Dash, a sprint of about 200 yards on the beach.

Turkey Day Run Boise, Idaho

This event is all about having fun with the family. People are invited to dress the part, and join runners, joggers and walkers for the lighthearted 5K run. The course is fast and flat. All you need to do to participate is register (the sooner, the smaller the fee) and bring non-perishable food items as a donation to the Boise Rescue Mission and City Light Home for Women and Children pantries. The single location record is 50,000 pounds.

Ohio River Road Runners Club Turkey Trot, Miamisburg, Ohio

The race has been around for 38 years now, and it has a brand new course to fit the 10,000+ participants in the two events - 5 mile run and 1 mile fun walk/run. What’s also new this year is that entrants will receive a high quality hoodie. The location, Riverfront Park, covers seven acres of green space along the scenic Great Miami River.

Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam Turkey Trot, Las Vegas, Nevada

The race has grown so much in popularity that it will feature a new Half Marathon and Half Marathon Relay this year. The signature 12K, 5K and 1 Mile are scheduled as well. The course is completely inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, about 20 miles from the famous Las Vegas Strip, and will remain on the packed-dirt of the Historic Railroad Trail.

Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot, North Carolina

Charlotte is a beautiful city to visit any time of the year. There is some kind of race almost every holiday with live music and tons of other outdoor adventures. More specifically, the turkey trot is extremely popular. Organizers had to limit the number of participants to 12,000 for the 8K, 5K, and 1-mile fun run. Make sure you register as soon as possible.

New Orleans Athletic Club Turkey Day Race, Louisiana

In case you needed another reason to visit the beautiful and lively New Orleans – the city hosts one of the oldest non-marathon races in the U.S. The NOAC Turkey Day Race will be held for 109th year, and it is open to all runners and walkers, NOTC and NOAC members and nonmembers alike. Proceeds go for kids benefit Spina Bifida of Greater New Orleans. The 5 Mile and Half Mile courses are in and around City Park, both finishing on the track inside Tad Gormley Stadium.

Mile High United Way Turkey Trot, Denver, Colorado

This Denver-based Turkey Trot boasts a roster of fun and games for the whole family. Participants can run or walk the four-mile course in Washington Park or, if you’ve got little ones, you can opt for the quarter-mile Family Fun Run. Plus, the start village features fun, festive activities and after you cross the finish line you can collect your race swag and pay a visit to the beer garden.

Run To Feed The Hungry, Sacramento, California

About 30,000 runners and walkers (10K run and 5K run/walk through tree-lined East Sacramento) come out to support what claims to be the largest Thanksgiving Day fun run in the U.S. - you have to pre-register if you want to be timed. All proceeds go to the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, as they have since the event started in 1994.

Manchester Road Race, Connecticut

This year is the 80th anniversary of the Manchester Road Race with about 15,000 people participating in 2016. Over the years, runners in costumes have become a tradition at the race, and contribute to its festive holiday atmosphere and spirit. The length of the course is exactly 4.748 miles. The top 10 male and female finishers get a monetary prize of up to $4,000.

The Best Turkey Trots