Holiday Hoofing: Turkey Trots to Dash Thanksgiving Morning

The traditional work-off-dinner-early events will take to a number of Southern California streets hours before the feasting commences.

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What to Know

  • Thursday, Nov. 25
  • Hours vary, but early morning starts are traditional
  • Some runs, like the Turkey Trot in Long Beach, have a costume element, as well as a way to join virtually

If we were tasked with dressing as a green bean casserole, but also making sure we could move well, we're not sure what we would start with. Fabric that looks like fried onions? An outfit that pays homage to a can of cream of mushroom soup? An all-green ensemble?

The decisions are difficult. But some wise and witty people, the sort of adventuresome athletes who regularly dress as Thanksgiving's iconic foods each and every fourth Thursday of November, know exactly the attire required for the occasion.

For that's when the Turkey Trots take to the streets, those morningtime revelries that aren't about marathon distances but still tend to cover quite a few kilometers.

Some of these events have a dress-up element, meaning runners wear something that pays homage to canned cranberries or the floats of the Macy's Day Parade, while others are simply about savoring fresh air, exercise, and community spirit on a crisp November morn.

Are you ready to set the table the night before, make the dishes you promised you'd make, and then head for one of these holiday happenings? Southern California is home to a plethora of Turkey Trots. In fact, your town, or one nearby, just might be holding some sort of festive fun run.

Some of the best-known of the joyous jogs? Here are just a few around our run-loving region. Important to note: Select runs will happen before Thanksgiving Day, so do check the schedule and details before registering.

Prepare to hoof it for...

Turkey Trot Los Angeles: You'll be starting at City Hall at 8 a.m., if you join the 5K, but there's a 10K with a later start time, and the Wibble Wobble for the kids. Midnight Mission is this trot's beneficiary.

Beulah Fund Turkey Trot: Make for Santa Monica, or become a virtual participant, and help "raise funds to give seniors and parents with disabilities free legal help." Planning to be there in person? It all starts at Palisades Park.

Rose Bowl Turkey Trot: The celebrated stadium sees a number of exercise-oriented outings throughout the year, but this is one with the most turkey-cute tees (and socks, and hats). If you can't make it to Pasadena, register to participate in this one from wherever you happen to be.

Drumstick Dash: The NoHo Arts District is one of the coolest areas to visit when you're grabbing a bite or visiting a gallery. But have you ever dashed through the area on T Day morning? The event benefits Hope of the Valley, which will "provide over 500,000 hot meals for homeless men, women, and children."

Anaheim Turkey Trot 5K/10K & Fun Run: Looking to "RUN UP an APPETITE"? Here's that opportunity. The 5K has an early-early start, at 6:30 a.m., if you'd like to get home and start baking those pies. Is running near home easier? A virtual option is available. (Note: This trot runs on Nov. 21, the Sunday before Thanksgiving.)

Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot: This popular run will be solely virtual in 2021, but you can bet there will still be giveaways, including a six-month Family Membership to, you guessed it, the Burbank YMCA.

Turkey Trot Long Beach: Love a little beachiness as you fly like the wind, or at least a briny breeze? This is your run, or runs. You can choose from the 5K or 10K, and there's a half-mile Wingding for the youngsters. This run also raises money for charity, and canned good donations are welcome. Want to join virtually? Get info.

Ventura Turkey Trot: Join this long-running run/walk from home, or go in person (and be sure to bring a non-perishable foodstuff, which will be donated to the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging Food Drive. The event's 2021 charity partner? It's the Ventura Land Trust.

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