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Running for Pumpkin Pie: Thanksgiving Day Races


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First and foremost, Thanksgiving—just one week from tomorrow on Nov. 22—should be a day to reflect and give thanks. It’s a time to appreciate what we have—to show humility and gratitude. It’s a time to remember the pilgrims and our country’s history. 

It’s also traditionally a day of Macy’s-Thanksgiving-Day-Parade-watching, football games, family bonding (or bickering), and the reason many of us wear elastic waistbands to the dinner table.

The positive? That delicious, mouth-watering, this-is-a-special-occasion-so-we’re-going-all-out elaborate meal shared with friends or family. Pass the potatoes, please. Another slice of pumpkin pie? Oh, ok. Twist my arm.

The negative? That delicious, mouth-watering, this-is-a-special-occasion-so-we’re-going-all-out elaborate meal shared with friends or family. Pass the potatoes, please. Another slice of pumpkin pie? Oh, ok. Twist my arm.

This year, combat those calories and start your day in a healthy way at the Life Time Turkey Day 5K (TD5K). The TD5K starts near the Life Time Fitness Target Center and follows a route past City Hall, the Metrodome, the Guthrie Theater, Gold Medal Park, and the Mississippi River. It’s a great way to force yourself to get up, get some exercise, and do something good for others by supporting Second Harvest Heartland in the process—this year race organizers are hoping to collect more than 15,000 pounds of food for the less fortunate in our community. Don’t forget your donation.

Early registration is $30 ($20 for Life Time members or those 17 and under); race day registration goes up to $40 ($25 for those 17 and under).

You can even bring a stroller and wear your headphones in this “fun walk/run.” (No official race results are recorded.) It starts at 8 a.m., with a kids carnival running from 7-10 a.m. inside the Life Time Fitness Target Center Club, with fitness activities and games perfect for kids ages 3-8. For a $5 admission, each child receives a long-sleeved Turkey Day 5K shirt, snacks, a chance to meet Grover from Sesame Street Live, and the opportunity to do laps around the track (4-year-olds run one lap, 5 and 6-year-olds run two laps, and 8-year-olds run three laps around the track at designated times). A race that originated right here in lovely downtown Minneapolis back in 1989 (can you say trendsetter?!) has since grown to include Life Time TD5K runs in Chicago, Boise, Phoenix, and San Francisco.

If you don't want to venture downtown on Thanksgiving morning, there are plenty of other races going on around town:

The Walk to End Hunger at the Mall of America, registration at 7 a.m., walk begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 10 a.m. Raise money to help eliminate hunger in the Twin Cities metro.

Drumstick Dash 10K, Lake Harriet, Minneapolis. Race day registration at 7 a.m. Race starts at 8 a.m.

Attitude of Gratitude Thanksgiving Day 5K, Como Lake, St. Paul. 9 a.m. start time.

Turkey Tagalong 5K, Howard Lake, 8 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. start time. Food shelf donations collected.

Gobble Gait 8K or 2K, downtown Hastings, 8:30 a.m. start time. Proceeds benefit Hastings Family Service.

Dash and Dine Thanksgiving 5K, 5 Mile Run/Walk, and Kids Run, Chisago City, 9 a.m. start time.

This Thanksgiving, do a little huffing and puffing before you hit the turkey and stuffing. Your waistline will thank you.

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