Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away! It is definitely one of my favorite holidays – hard to pick out the exact reasons. It is probably a combination of the traditional dinner, the fact that just about all stores are closed (well, not quite anymore), looking through Black Friday circulars, the cool weather, and of course, the Thanksgiving 10K!
My second race ever was a 10K race on Thanksgiving and I did the same race every year for 5 years in a row. Thanksgiving races are excellent! It is a great way to get out on the abnormally quiet roads and really just get into the festive spirit. We never really knew what the weather would bring us but that was just one more enjoyable thing about the race! I have many great memories from that race and look forward to running it again sometime!
Many towns and cities across the country have Thanksgiving day races – commonly called Turkey Trots. These races are for many distances, but mostly 5Ks, 5 milers, and 10Ks. Some of these races are bigger than others (like, a lot bigger). If you prefer smaller races, I am certain there is some type of race with under 1,000 participants within 30 miles from you given the proliferation of Thanksgiving Day races over the last few years.
Travel for a Thanksgiving Race?
Of course, I would not expect that anyone (except those who make money running) would travel someplace for the sole purpose of running a Thanksgiving race. However, many people travel to visit family for Thanksgiving and may not realize about some great Thanksgiving races in the area. There are some great reasons to run such a race – one of the best is that you can be off burning calories while everyone else is still working on preparing the meal ;).
Seven Top Thanksgiving Races to Consider
This is one of the very few longer races taking place on Thanksgiving Day. If you are in the Atlanta area and really want to burn off some serious calories before stuffing yourself a few hours later! If interested, visit their website here.
YMCA Buffalo Turkey Trot
This is the oldest race in American, this year celebrating 119 years of this community tradition. This race is quite near my neck of the woods but I have never had the chance to run it given my loyalty to my hometown 10K. The weather is sure to be cool and the leaves beautiful! If interested, visit their website here.
Las Vegas Turkey Trot
This even takes the runners through six tunnels as you make your way to the Hoover Dam. This is definitely going to be one of the more beautiful races that you can run on Thanksgiving and is a great option for the runner that will be visiting the Las Vegas area for Thanksgiving. If interested, visit their website here.
This event is prepared to have 40,000 participants! Not only do you have a chance to join a huge, festive running crowd but every registrant also receives 25 free visits to Dallas area YMCAs! That is quite the sign-up bonus! If interested, visit their website here.
The Fifth-Third Turkey Trot in Michigan
This is an event with over 22,000 runners! If you enjoy large crowds but find yourself in the Detroit area, this is the race for you. If interested, visit their website here.
Wester and Southern Thanksgiving Race
The Thanksgiving Race takes place in Cincinnati. It is a very old and well-attended race with a lot of runners. IF you are in the Southern Ohio area or Northern Kentucky, this would be a great race to consider. If interested, visit their website here.
Run to Feed the Hungry
This race, one of the largest Thanksgiving races in the country, will have over 28,000 runners and takes place in Sacramento. This is a great race to run to help give back and to support the local food bank. If interested, visit their website here.
If you happen to be near one of these races on Thanksgiving, give it a shot! If you have your own personal favorite in your area, run that one and just enjoy the overall day.
Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving Race? It is the biggest race day in America so I am sure you have run one or two!