Where to Run a Turkey Trot in Minnesota This Thanksgiving

If you think the only people who exercise on Thanksgiving are the NFL players in the Thanksgiving Day football game or the float dancers in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, think again. Every year on Thanksgiving Day, thousands of people around Minnesota (and the country) choose to get up early and get active, often while supporting different charitable causes. Burning off those Thanksgiving Day calories is a great way to start the day before giving thanks for what you have.

Since 1989, the 29th Annual CenturyLink Turkey Day 5K Minneapolis, presented by Life Time has become a tradition for many Minnesotans before they begin their holiday festivities. The event, which has spread to Boise, Chicago, Miami, and Phoenix, encourages participants to donate food items on the day of the race to local food shelves. In Minneapolis, all food donations go to Second Harvest Heartland and are distributed to people around Minnesota, as well as western Wisconsin.

The event starts at 6:30 a.m. with a Turkey Day Tailgate family carnival in the Butler Square parking lot. Shortly after, the race begins at 8 a.m. The course passes by City Hall, U.S. Bank Stadium, the Guthrie Theater, Gold Medal Park, and the Mississippi River, providing exceptional views of the city. With four different waves based on speed, participants may choose to run, walk, or stroll. 

Registration is currently $45 for adults and $20 for youth (17 & under) through November 23. Prices will go up as the race draws near so make sure to gather up your family and friends to register soon. Register online, at nine partner retail locations listed here, or on the day of the race between 6-7:30 a.m. at Target Center (on the level 100 concourse).

By registering, participants will receive a limited edition long sleeve race shirt, race photos, a medal, and access to the Turkey Day Tailgate Finish Festival with post-race food and warm beverages. There will also be a Bloody Mary bar special (along with other food and drink specials) a few blocks away at Cowboy Jack’s.

Other Thanksgiving races around the metro:

Turkey Trot St. Paul: Takes place along the Mississippi Riverfront in downtown St. Paul. The Turkey Trot partnered with the Open Door Pantry to keep shelves stocked this winter. 10K race starts at 7:30 a.m., 6K starts at 8 a.m. Packets must be picked up prior to the event, from November 13-22 at The Running Room on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

The 12th Annual Active “Attitude of Gratitude Celebration” Giving Thanks 5K: Arbor Lakes area of Maple Grove. Race day registration 7:15 a.m., run begins at 8:30 a.m. $50 entry includes shirt and breakfast. The focus of this grace is to remember to keep an attitude of gratitude throughout the year.

Turkey Trot 5K Run at Annandale Middle School: Annandale. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., the run begins at 8 a.m. The $20 fee includes t-shirts for the first 100 participants.

Fast Before the Feast: White Bear Lake. Race day registration begins at 7 a.m., ½ mile Kids Fun Run begins at 8 a.m., 10K at 8:15 a.m., and 5K at 8:30 a.m. A portion of proceeds supports local food shelves. Strollers, walkers, and dogs are welcome at this family affair. Overall winners receive turkeys and pumpkin pies. $30 Fun Run fee; $45 to participate in the 5K; $50 fee for the 10K (price goes up closer to Thanksgiving). 

IRIS Turkey Trot: Faribault Middle School. IRIS stands for Infants Remembered in Silence. Teams of family members, friends, coworkers, and others who have been touched by the death of a child are the heart of this event. Race day registration is open from 7-8 a.m., the Gobble Wobble race for toddlers begins at 8  a.m., the Tot Trot begins at 8:10 a.m., the 10K begins at 8:30 a.m., the 5K run begins at 8:35 a.m., and the 5K walk begins at 8:40 a.m. All of the proceeds raised fund Infants Remembered In Silence, Inc., dedicated to helping those who have experienced the loss of a child.

Drumstick Dash 10K: Lake Harriet. Race day registration begins at 7:15 a.m., the race begins at 8 a.m. Become a Drumstick FundRacer by supporting Mile in My Shoes 2017. MiMS brings together residents of Minneapolis with diverse backgrounds through the power of running. Based in homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities, MiMS serves as a catalyst for community-building, health and wellness promotion, leadership and self-efficacy, and spurring personal and political engagement within the non-homeless community.