5 Turkey Trots for Your Thanksgiving Day Exercise

By Michael Berick

Los Angeles Events

Kids will be off and running at the Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot. PHOTO COURTESY BURBANK COMMUNITY YMCA

Thanksgiving is known as a day to feast. But before pigging out on turkey, you might want to get a little exercise in – just to balance out your day. Across Southern California, there will be a number of “turkey trot” events Thanksgiving Day where you can work off some calories before adding more on. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, many of these events also raise money for charities.

The Burbank YMCA (321 E. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank; www.BurbankTurkeyTrot.com) hosts a community Turkey Trot at 7:30 a.m. that includes a 10K, 5K and a Kiddie Run. This event, which raises funds for the Y’s assistance programs, is open to runners of all skill levels as well as babies in strollers and dogs. Feel free to wear a costume. All participants will get a T-shirt and commemorative medal. Besides the run, there will be a pre-race expo and a free kids zone. $40-$45 adults, $20 children.

In Studio City, the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission offers the second edition of its Drumstick Dash at CBS Studios (4024 Radford Ave.; www.digthedash.com). The 10K starts at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K at 9 a.m. They will also have a “Lil’ Gobblers” kids fun run, which begins at 10 a.m. The event’s slogan is “Move Your Feet So Others Can Eat,” and proceeds will be used to provide shelter, clothing and food for homeless individuals in Southern California. $40-$60 adults, $15-$20 children.

You can spend Thanksgiving morning by the sea for the Long Beach Turkey Trot stepping off at 7 a.m. from the Granada Boat Launch Ramp (1 Granada Ave., Long Beach; turkeytrot.us). Adults can run or walk a 5K or 10K while kids participate in a half-mile “wingding” – one for ages 8-12 and another for those 7 years and younger. A sweet part of this annual event is that around 600 apple or pumpkin pies will be handed out to various finishers. (With approxiamately 5,000 runners, not everyone gets a pie.) This Trot also includes a canned food drive for the AIDS Food Store and raises funds for the Long Beach-based Community Action Team, which organizes more than 60 community events and projects every year. $35-$40 adults, $25-$40 children.

Dana Point’s Turkey Trot from 6-11 a.m. at Dana Point Harbor (Dana Point Harbor Drive and Golden Lantern Street; www.turkeytrot.com) has been around for nearly 40 years and is among the top “trots” in the U.S. More than 16,000 people are expected traverse this scenic USA Track and Field-sanctioned route that includes a 5K (including one for those 40 and older), 10K and the 1-mile Gobble Wobble for ages 5-12. The event, which also features a popular costume contest at 9:10 a.m. and a two-day Health and Wellness Expo, has raised more than a half-million dollars for local charities. $35-$40 adults, $30-$40 children.

If you want to take a little Thanksgiving day-trip, you can head up to Big Bear for the annual Turkey Trot in Meadow Park (41220 Park Blvd., Big Bear Lake; www.bigbearturkeytrot.com). The fun starts at 9 a.m. and courses come in three-, six- and nine-mile options, with the first-place finisher getting a turkey for their holiday dinner. This Trot also encourages participants to wear costumes – either turkeys or, not surprisingly, bears. And there is a pie-eating contest, so the morning won’t be a totally healthy experience. Proceeds benefit Open Air Big Bear, a nonprofit that promotes healthy lifestyles. Remember that the weather might be a little chilly because it is Big Bear. $40-$50 adults, $25 children.

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