Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, for those living in the US (and maybe even those not currently in the US but still celebrating!). It is a day of thanks, to be sure, but also a day of extreme feasting! It is also a day that many spend with families and friends and it is one of my favorite holidays of the year. So, why should you throw another thing at it and go run in the morning before all of that?
Why You Should Do a “Turkey Trot” Tomorrow!
A “turkey trot” is a race, or a fun run, that normally takes place on Thanksgiving morning (at least in the US). Thanksgiving Day is the most popular race day in the US (I am pretty sure July 4th is still in 2nd though I could be wrong) and thousands of people will be hitting the streets (and some, the trails) tomorrow before sitting down for a huge feast, family fun, and football. The distance of a Turkey Trot is typically a 5K, a 10K, or something in between.
So, why should you do a Turkey Trot – especially if you do not normally run? If you do run, then these are great races and a great way to get out and get a run in on what might otherwise be a difficult day to do so (it sounds better when you tell the family you are doing a race than if you are just going for a run on your own before the family drops by).
Do Some Preemptive Calorie Burning!
Turkey trots are a great way to expend some energy, otherwise known as calories, before you sit down and gorge yourself on the great foods that have become so traditional for American Thanksgiving. You can really enjoy that desert plate with both apple pie and pumpkin pie knowing that you have burned off one of those pieces earlier in the day! So, yes, it is a nice way to approach the Thanksgiving feast with a little less consciousness about the number of calories you are about to consume.
Connect with the Community and Other Runners
Turkey trots are also a great way to enjoy some of the festive spirit with members of your community. The race I used to run every year was a 10K and it always managed to bring out people that I had not run with or seen in months. It seemed like everyone came out to run the Thanksgiving Day race! It was nice to get there a little early, sip hot chocolate, and catch up with them before hitting the streets.
Family Time on the Go!
It is also a nice time to get out there and do something active with your family! Not everyone runs these races! The Turkey Trot idea is more about getting out and getting some exercise. So, take the family and walk the course together! It can be a nice time to workout together before the feasting begins. A couple of Thanksgivings, my wife would run with her friends and I would run with one of our kids in a stroller. Even though we weren’t together, it was still a nice activity that we had both done.
Get Energy for the Day!
Running or walking in the morning (especially if you are going to be in the frigid northeast US) is a nice way to get a good energy kick before you head into the day. Remember, you are going to be lying down on the couch eventually in the afternoon, blaming that turkey for your sudden exhaustion, so you might as well get some energy and make that nap really count for something later!
Not only will it give you energy then, but it can also be a nice way to get an energy boost to start the day if you plan on going out shopping in the evening.
Check out a New City!
Finally, if you are visiting family or friends out of town, a Turkey Trot is a great way to see some of the beautiful sections of the city or town you are visiting. I know that when we would visit family, doing runs was often the only way I would be introduced to new areas since we were normally always doing things together. So, it can be a nice way to see your extended family’s home turf.
Where to Find a Turkey Trot
While it might be too late to sign up for some Turkey Trot races, many of them will allow you to register the morning of. Just search “Turkey Trot” and your city name on Google and you should find plenty of races going on tomorrow! You can also search here.
If you are in the Sacramento area, this race is a great one as it gives back to support the food bank (Run to Feed the Hungry). In the past, it has had almost 30,000 runners! If you are near Detroit, you can check out this one that also has had over 22,000 runners!
Featured image courtesy ostill via Shutterstock