Here’s a fun fact: Thanksgiving is road racing’s most popular day of the year! That’s right — July 4, New Year's Day, and Labor Day are all left in the Turkey Trot’s dust. In 2011 alone, 676,000 people crossed the finish line on Thanksgiving, according to industry group Running USA’s most recent data.
So if you want to offset some of dinner’s damage before you even lay eyes on your feast, trot over to the starting line of one of these Turkey Day races:
One of the oldest turkey trots in the Philadelphia area, the 21st annual five-mile race benefits Face to Face, a human services agency that provides meals, basic health care, legal and social services, computer training and creative arts studios to the neighborhood’s disadvantaged residents. A 1-mile fun run/walk is also available.
$35 or $10 for ages 12 and under, 9 a.m., Forbidden drive in Chestnut Hill’s Fairmount Park
With no chip timing, this race along the Moorestown High School Cross Country course keeps it low key with plenty of friends and fun. Money raised from this trot has helped the cross country teams build a trail to run on and supply uniforms. If 5Ks aren’t your thing, you can also participate in a 1-mile fun run.
$12, 9:45 a.m., 350 Bridgeboro Road, Moorestown, NJ
You’ll want to get to this race early for the best part — the Saucony Turkey Toss. The male and female who can shot-put a frozen bird the farthest and finish the 5K under 30 minutes (35 for females) win a free pair of Saucony running shoes! A portion of the profits benefit a local homeless shelter that feeds the needy.
$25, 8:30 a.m., Montgomery Community College, 101 College Drive, Pottstown, Pa.
Gather your family and friends and wobble over to this very popular 5K run and 2-mile walk in the center of Abington Township. Age group winners will be awarded plus a few fun awards like the most bundled up and the best corny costume. Proceeds benefit the Abington YMCA Financial Assistance Program, helping the needy of the community become a part of the Y family.
$30 or $15 for ages 12 and under, 9 a.m., Abington YMCA, 1073 Old York Road, Abington, Pa.
Spartans, here’s your opportunity to wear that uniform that you forgot to turn in at the end of your senior year. The alumni turkey trot will benefit current and future Springfield track & field and cross country teams to provide new uniforms and equipment. Not a Spartan alum? No worries, this race is open to all runners.
$25, 8:30 a.m., Fort Washington State Park Militia Hill, Fort Washington, Pa.
Head over to the Please Touch Museum to kick off the starting line of this fast and flat 5 mile double loop course around Memorial Hall. The turkey trot features age group awards, long sleeve t-shirts and post-race refreshments.
$40, 8:30 a.m., Please Touch Museum, 4231 North Concourse Drive
If you want to get a few miles in you before you go on your feeding frenzy, join the Buck County Road Runners in Langhorne. The course weaves through both residential streets and open fields, so the scenery never gets boring. You can also participate in a 1-mile fun run.
$35, 9 a.m., Summit Square Shopping Center, 3 Doublewoods Lane, Langhorne, Pa.
Join the Medford Lakes Colony and run this 5K honoring the memory of David Nimmer. The course features paved and trail terrain through the picturesque community of the Borough of Medford Lakes. T-shirts and age group awards will also be presented.
$20 or $15 for ages 18 and under, 8:30 a.m., Vaughan Hall, 79 Tecumseh Trail, Medford, NJ
Join the First Annual Action Potential Turkey Trot at Garnet Valley High School. Choose from a 5K varied terrain run/walk or a 1-mile paved walk and roll — wheelchairs and strollers welcome. The race will benefit Achilles International, a nonprofit organization that enables persons with a disability to participate in mainstream sporting events.
$28 or free for ages 10 and under, 9 a.m., Garnet Valley High School, 552 Smithbridge Road, Glen Mills, Pa.
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