Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is the best holiday for shamelessly filling yourself with layer upon layer of savory meals and satisfying sweets. What fewer people know is that it is also the single-most popular running and racing day of the year. More people head out to run a turkey trot on the fourth Thursday in November than any other day.

If you’re one of them, you know how fun it is! But if you’re usually found in your jammies watching the big parade on TV, read on for our reasons why everyone should run a turkey trot!

10 Reasons To Run In A Turkey Trot This Year

10 Reasons to Run a Turkey Trot

  1. Burn those calories, sister! We all put on the stretchy pants just before we sit down and say grace. Why not ease a little of the guilt by walking or running a few miles before the day gets away from us? Just three miles burns more than 300 calories—at a bare-minimum that’s an extra slice of pie!
  2. Turkey Trots provide a spirit of community. Whether you’re running on a military installation or in your new town, you’re out there with others, becoming part of the community and feeling more connected in this very transitional life.
  3. Turkey Trots are family-friendly! Thanksgiving races are the most forgiving of races because they allow for—even expect—runners and walkers of all abilities. Most local races include shorter kids’ distances as well. The point is to get the whole family involved and active.
  4. There are so many to choose from. It is incredibly easy to find the opportunity to run a turkey trot near you—or near where you are traveling for Thanksgiving. Almost all military posts and bases will have some sort of Morale, Wellness, and Recreation program that may even be free. Additionally, even the smallest towns often get in on the fun of organizing a fun event.
  5. Pie. Sure, there are plenty of reasons to run a turkey trot, but this is the best one.
  6. Alone time. If you’re part of the cooking crew, a Turkey Trot is a way to get out of the kitchen for a brief bit. Speaking from experience, even if you’re the only one doing the entire meal, an early-morning run still gives you plenty of time to plan for a late-afternoon meal; unless you’re cooking a 42-pound bird, maybe.
  7. Get the swag, baby! Your morning race entitles you to wear the fun t-shirt for the rest of the day and let everyone know you kicked some booty before sitting on your own to watch football!
  8. Bring on the wagers! If you’re part of a competitive family, a Turkey Trot offers a prime opportunity for a friendly bet among siblings or cousins for the fastest finish, closest to predicted finish time, or best costume! Loser washes the dishes.
  9. Healthy balance. If you run a turkey trot in the morning there’s significantly less guilt when the food coma hits and you start snoring in front of the football game.
  10. It’s fun! Tie on your best turkey hat, slip into that orange tulle ballet skirt you never thought you’d wear again, and head out for a silly but fun way to start your favorite holiday!

Are you ready? Runner’s World has a great list of turkey trots (and other races) for you to register for. You can also check with your local running club, Team RWB, or installation for their race schedule.


If this is your first year, starting the day with running a Turkey Trot is a great tradition to start with your family. There’s really no downside and you’ll have one more thing to take with you as you move around the world. Go on, get out there and run a turkey trot this Thanksgiving!

WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out 6 Tips to Rock a Friendsgiving Feast

10 Reasons To Run A Turkey Trot This Year

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