Thanksgiving Tradition: Turkey Trot Time

Join a community-nice run before you bake that pecan pie.

Holidays that thrive on family-sweet, friend-fun togetherness don't tend to boast a lot of outside-the-house pursuits. People want to be home, or at a pal's place, snacking on leftover potatoes and pie, and the thought of heading out from a comfy spot on the couch holds little appeal.

That's why Thanksgiving's best-known outside-of-the-house happening occurs well before families have gathered and friends have texted asking if they really need to show with dinner rolls (because they accidentally burned the dinner rolls). It's the Turkey Trot, a still semi-recent tradition that's gained traction in recent years.

Real traction, as the name of the game is all about hoofing it along city streets or park paths to have a good time, bond with fellow runners, and, quite often, raise money for important causes.

Have the morning of Thanksgiving free? Want to take on a 5K, perhaps dressed as a turkey or a bowl of cranberries? Then look to...

Los Angeles: Yep, there's a Turkey Trot trucker's hat, if you don't want to put together a costume that looks like a bowl of stuffing. And there is the 5K or 10K route to choose from, but bet you'll see a lot of downtown sights as you hoof it along either. Sign up now and here.

Long Beach: Granada Boat Launch is your destination for this annual 5K or 10K. The beneficiary of the Nov. 24 run? The Community Action Team, which is involved in a host of LBC giveback happenings.

Pasadena: The Rose Bowl is the picturesque location for the yearly "Tofurky Trot," a 5K that advises participants to "chase compassion." The run supports "both the health and vitality of local communities" while raising money for "local animal rescue and championing plant-based diets." 

Burbank: The YMCA Turkey Trot will welcome "casual joggers, elite athletes, families and costumed revelers" early in the day on Thanksgiving. Start spot? The community YMCA on Magnolia Boulevard (with a map that wends through downtown Burbank).

Dana Point: "Run the race BEFORE you STUFF your face!" is the call to come out and enjoy the Thanksgiving morning exercise. And should you save time to swing by the Health and Wellness Expo at the harbor, too? For sure: browse a bit before heading home.

A bevy of other trots are running on Thursday, Nov. 24, from Oceanside to Topanga to the Central Coast and San Jose. Are you near one? Want to get some fresh air, endorphins, and runner-to-runner bonding in before the big meal? Check out if the town you're landing in for the holiday has a Turkey Trot afoot for 2016.

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