If you think the only race on thanksgiving is the race to the dinner table, think again. Around the world, majorly in the Unites States, there are countless Thanksgiving Day races. Most of these races range from the 5k to 5 mile or somewhere in between, and the focus in on charity, united friends, family and having a blast. What better way to start your high calorie consumption day than with a race. And if you are like the average person you will consume close to 2600 calories on this day. Yikes! So start your day right burning some calories you will certainly have with your holiday celebration. And the prizes in these races are usually pretty clever ranging from a turkey to a pie. So grab your turkey costume and head to one of these races or find one closer to you! And have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
1. Dana Point Turkey Trot
In the middle of the OC you will find one of the country’s largest and most scenic turkey trots. Started in 1977, the Dana Point Turkey Trot encourages its 11,000 runners to start your day with a workout. This race supports local charities like the Boys & Girls Club of Capistrano Valley and the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group among others, the event includes a 5K, 10K and a short sprint for kids.
2. Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot
The Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot has raised over $4 million for local charities including the Second Harvest Food Bank. In 2013, it became the largest timed turkey trot in the country with 20,159 finishers. This is a vast increased race enrollment; a way from the 1,900 participants its first year! This race draws professional runners and fun runners alike. There is a 10K for runners and wheelchair athletes, a 5K and kid’s runs.
3. Run to Feed the Hungry
This race is a diamond in the rough because all the proceeds go towards the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, the 22nd annual Run to Feed the Hungry will host more than 28,000 runners and walkers at this year’s 10K and 5K. The course starts near the Sacramento State campus and runs through the manicured streets of East Sacramento, with plenty of music and lots of fan support cheering along the way.
4. Mile High United Way Turkey Trot
For the 42nd year in a row, the Mile High United Way Turkey Trot, in Denver, Colorado is the one of the highest fundraisers for the United Way. More than 10,000 runners and walkers will participate in this year’s 4-mile race or ¼-mile family fun run. Those of drinking age can celebrate the local craft beer garden party at the finish line.
My favorite local New Jersey race, the A8K Classic. Ashenfelter 8K Classic and the Tom Fleming One Mile Run benefiting the Glen Ridge Educational Foundation. Join us as we honor olympian and local hero Horace Ashenfelter, who won the steeplechase event at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. The first 3000 runners get a really cool long sleeve shirts and all top 100 male and female runners received a top 100 coffee mug. I was awarded a mug every year I have run this and it is one of my highlights. Also one other major bonus of this race is that you will meet Olympian Horace Ashenfelter at the Post Race Breakfast and Awards Party.
6. Flemington Turkey Trot
Another local New Jersey 5k that draws several thousand runners from elite to weekend warrior is the Flemington Turkey Trot. Run through scenic and historical Flemington while raising money for The Center for Educational Advancement and Spring Run School. This is a great race that draws locals together to run before the feast!
7. Manchester Road Race
On a rainy day in 1927 this race started with just 12 runners. It is now one of New England’s most famous road races and the largest race in Connecticut. The Manchester Road Race’s 5-mile course attracts up to 15,000 runners, including Olympians, locals and at least one editor from Runner’s World. And the fan support is not light. There are nearly 20,000 spectators every year. And all for good causes, in 2013, it donated more than $120,000 to various charities including the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
So start your gobble day the right way with a turkey trot near you. This is the best way to start your thanksgiving on a healthy note! Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! And have a great race!