Thanksgiving is known for football, family, and, most of all, food. But a new activity has become a Thanksgiving tradition in many communities. The turkey trot, a road race of any distance, is now a popular way to start the fourth Thursday of November, or get the holiday festivities started the weekend before. Here are some races happening around the New England area in honor of Thanksgiving and the main dish.
See this list for more New England turkey trots.
Turkey Trot for the Memory
Nov. 28, 8 a.m., on The Common in Shrewsbury.
Now in it’s third year, the Turkey Trot for the memory is a Thanksgiving 5-mile run and 2-mile fun run/walk to support those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as well as to those caring for them. All proceeds go directly to the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. The money raised supports Alzheimer’s research, patient and family care, and educational programming. Last year’s run registered nearly 1,000 runners..
For the 5-mile run, early registration is $20 and registration on the day of the race will be $25. For the 2-mile run, a $5 donation encouraged and a donation of $20 includes a T-shirt
Kingston 5k Turkey Trot
Nov. 23, 9 a.m., 65 Pottle St., Kingston
Soul Sisters, a group that promotes ovarian cancer awareness and raises money for cancer research, is hosting the 6th annual trot in honor of a former Soul Sister Paula Cazeault, who died of ovarian cancer in 2010. The race is a 5k walk or run with cash prizes for the top runners. There will also be a kids’ mad dash following the race.
$25 for early registration, $35 for race day registration, $15 for student athletes in jerseys and $10 for kids’ dash.
Marion Recreation 5k Turkey Trot
Nov. 24, 10:15 a.m., 235 Front St., Marion
This 5k race is competitive and fun, and really takes its name literally. Prizes for top runners are given out, but the day’s top prize goes to the best dressed turkey. All proceeds go to Marion Recreation.
$15 for early registration, $20 for race day registration.
Essex Turkey Trot 8k race and fun walk
Nov. 24, 1 p.m., 121 Main St., Essex
The Essex Lions Club is hosting their 36th annual 8-kilometer race, which is 4.97 miles. The race is also sanctioned by US Track and Field. Woodman’s restaurant, where registration takes place, will provide chowder to all participants.
$20 for runners’ registration, $15 for walkers
America’s Hometown Thanksgiving 5k
Nov. 24, 10 a.m., 30 Town Wharf Road, Plymouth
This scenic race takes runners through “America’s Hometown’’ during Plymouth’s Thanksgiving festivities. There is no race more appropriate for this holiday than one taking place where the celebration of giving thanks all began. All proceeds go to the country’s oldest charity, Plymouth Fragment Society, a nonprofit that helps the needy.
$20 for early registration, $25 race day registration
Run for the Turkeys 5k
Nov. 24, 11 a.m., 54 Gillotti Road, New Fairfield, Conn.
For the 29th annual Run for the Turkeys, New Fairfield’s parks and recreation department is hosting this event for the whole community. The fun run begins the day, with a 5k and a health walk shorlty following. There will be a prize category for runners in costumes and the turkey mascot will make an appearance. Two live bands will perform along the race course weather permitting.
$25 for early registration, $17 for the health walk, $5 for kids’ fun run.
Middlebury Turkey Trot and Gobble Wobble
Nov. 18, 12 p.m., 94 Main St., Middlebury, Vt.
These 5k and 10k races begin in scenic Vermont country and finish in town. There will be prizes of local business gift cards and turkeys to the top runners. A food drive for the Addison County Food Shelf will enter donors into a raffle.
$35 for early registration, $40 after Nov. 22.
Boston Volvo Village 5k Road Race
Nov. 28, 9 a.m., 75 North Beacon St., Brighton
Before indulging in a Thanksgiving feast, indulge in some charity by running the Boston Volvo Village 5k Road Race in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter. All proceeds from the race go toward helping the many New Englanders who live with MS and their families.
$20 for early registration, $25 for race day registration.
Concord Turkey Trot
Nov. 28, 9 a.m., 93 Laurel St., Concord
This 5k run through historic downtown Concord, now in its third year, has grown from 25 runners at it’s creation to approximately 1,000 participants last year. All proceeds and canned goods collected will benefit the Open Table Food Bank.
$27 registration fee.
7th Annual Gobble Wobble run, walk or wobble
Nov. 28, 8:30 a.m., 49 Parkerville Road, Southborough
The Friends of Southborough Recreation is a nonprofit that promotes recreational activities for the community. They are hosting their annual Gobble Wobble race for athletes of all types. The top runners of a 5k race will receive cash prizes. There will also be a two-mile walk for the whole family, and kids can participate in a track fun run for free.
$25 for early registration.
Medway Turkey Trot
Nov. 28, 7:30 a.m., 88 Summer St., Medway
Costumes are welcome at this 5k, which supports the Medway High School Athletic Department. With an early start, Thanksgiving can begin on a high note and leave enough time to go home and cook the turkey.
$25 for early registration, $30 on the day of the race, $15 for children under 18.
Turkey Trot and Dip
Nov. 28, 8:30 a.m., 1 Harry Austin Drive, Mystic, Conn.
The Ocean Community YMCA of Mystic, Conn., will hold its 21st annual Turkey Trot and Dip. The event allows participants to run, jog or walk a one or three mile race then take a dip into the Mystic River that runs behind the YMCA building. The dip into the cold November water is optional.
$15 for early registration, $20 for race day registration.
Trot Off Your Turkey 5k and 1.5 mile
Nov. 30, 10 a.m., 10 Waldron Ave., Barrington, R.I.
For the 14th year, runners will take to the flat course that winds around the St. Luke’s School area in Rhode Island. Past year’s have seen more than 1,000 runners and spectators. All proceeds go to St. Luke’s School, and canned food donations will be accepted for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
$20for early registration, $12 for children under 14, $25 and $15 after Nov. 25.