Thanksgiving is known for such sports as spectator football, pressurized cooking, turkey carving, board-game marathons, unspoken family feuding--and, increasingly in San Francisco, the turkey trot.
The turkey trot concept: Prepare for Thanksgiving by doing a 5K or 10K run (or walk) in San Francisco, even on the morning of. Do it in a turkey or a pilgrim costume ala Bay to Breakers if you want, which means you'll burn off additional calories. Then, should you come in first-place in pie-eating at a Thanksgiving feast, you’ll feel less guilty. Better yet, some of the turkey trot events benefit local charities. Here's a list of them in 2011.
Santa Cruz Turkey Trot
November 19, at 7:45 am
Ocean views, flat terrain and a change of pace from San Francisco. Staggered start times for 5K, 10K and kids’ 1K races.
At Natural Bridges Park (back entrance), 2300 Delaware Ave., Santa Cruz. Registration: $5-30.
San Francisco's Run & Walk for the Hungry
November 20, at 8:30 am & 9 am
Before the Thanksgiving pig-out, burn some calories on a 5K course or a one-mile course. Benefits San Francisco Food Bank.
At Golden Gate Park. Registration: Free-$35.
Silicon Valley Turkey Trot
November 24, at 7 am
A trot that accommodates nearly everyone, with a costume contest, 5K and 10K courses, and staggered start times for wheelchairs, walkers, elite and competitive runners, and kids. Benefits local charities Second Harvest Food Bank, Housing Trust of Santa Clara County and Santa Clara County Children’s Health Initiative.
At downtown San Jose, Guadalupe Park. Registration: $10-1000.
Turkey Trail Trot
November 24, at 8:30 am
This Bay-to-Breakers-meets-Thanksgiving run sells out early every year, and is sold out as of press time in 2011. But it’s still looking for volunteers, and spectators (but not unregistered runners) are welcome. Folks dressed as turkeys, Thanksgiving side dishes, pilgrims, Pocahontas and the like trot or walk for prizes that include pumpkin and apple pies.
At the Polo Fields, Golden Gate Park. Race registration closed.
Run Wild For A Child
November 27, at 8:30 am
The annual Thanksgiving weekend run includes 5K and 10K courses in Golden Gate Park. Join the costume contest by doing the 5K while dressed as a childhood toy. The San Francisco Firefighter’s Toy Program will accept donations of money and new, unwrapped toys.
Starts at John F. Kennedy Drive at 8th Ave. Dogs, skates, scooters and bikes not allowed on the courses. Registration: $15-$37.