A holiday that revolves around appreciating your loved ones and eating all the food is our favorite kind of holiday. But all that food can weigh on us—literally and figuratively. That’s why there’s no better way to start your Thanksgiving celebrations than with a turkey trot, giving you a kickstart on burning off all those calories that you get to enjoy later.
To make your hunt for a great trot easier, we rounded up the best of the best turkey trots across the country. Featuring everything from costume contests to dog runs to face painting, the following runs (or walks) will ensure you kick off the holiday festivities right.
The Dana Point Turkey Trot has been going strong for 42 years, inviting more than 11,000 runners to enjoy its scenic route before noshing on Thanksgiving goodness. The race is totally flat, and runners can participate in a 10K, 5K, or Kids’ Gobble Wobble one-mile fun run, so it’s a great choice for all running levels. Plus, there’s a costume contest sponsored by Clif Bar, so all participants are encouraged to don festive attire.
Looking for a run with a view? Then register for the Turkey Trot at the Marina, which offers you an ocean view as you trot through city streets and around a picturesque lake. This trot tends to draw more serious runners as it offers everything from a 5K to a full marathon, but all running levels are invited to attend. With a fully stocked aid station, complete with Gatorade, water, and snacks, you’ll have plenty of fuel to get you through the finish line.
Turkey Trot Los Angeles is an annual, family-friendly event that includes a 5K, 10K, and 1K Widdle Wobble for kids. Participants can run, jog, or walk their way through the course, with many dressing in costume for the costume contest at the race’s close. The end of the race also includes a potato-sack race, face painting, and turkey-calling contest, so it’s a great event for the whole family.
This run for a cause takes place in downtown San Diego and includes your choice of a 5K or 10K. The event also allows you to run with your pup for a $10 fee, which includes a sweet bandana and treats for your furry loved one. But the best part is that proceeds from the run benefit Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, which serves an average of 350,000 people per month in San Diego County.
Running Wild’s Wild Turkey Trot is an all-ages 5K run that starts and finishes on Palm Canyon. The fast and flat-certified course is great for all levels. Proceeds from the event benefit Meals on Wheels, which provides food for homebound seniors. All participants receive a race packet that includes a t-shirt, finisher medal, wild turkey hat, and finisher photo download.
Speaking of costumes, the Turkey Trail Trot is led by a giant costumed turkey and invites all runners to wear silly costumes of their own. The run benefits the Lowell High Track and Field team and includes a five-mile trot, three-mile walk, and 100-meter kids’ Gobbler Chase. Winners of each race are treated to Thanksgiving turkeys, wine, and tasty pies from Schubert’s Bakery.
With an Instagram costume contest, goody bags, a raffle, and medals for every runner, the 30th-annual United Way Turkey Trot 5K prioritizes fun over all else. The route will take you along Palm Beach's scenic Lake Trail, ending in Bradley Park with the costume contest and raffle. There’s also a kids’ Drumstick Dash, so your little ones can get in on the action. Proceeds provide Thanksgiving meals to Palm Beach County residents, making the run as altruistic as it is fun.
Runners, joggers, and walkers are all invited to partake in the Miami Turkey Trot, which offers a 10K, 5K, and Kids’ Race. But even if you don’t participate, the race is still worth attending due to the festivities at the end. End-of-race games and entertainment include a petting zoo, turkey bowling, giant Jenga, face painting, and a whole lot more at Tropical Park.