Turkey Trots in the Washington, DC Area

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I have always been a big celebrator of HallowThanksMas. It’s that period of time that runs from October to New Years filled with festive events and more time with family – both blood and chosen. But this year, we’ve had to get creative with how we stay in touch and how we stay safe. This Thanksgiving, I am extra thankful for video chat, my home, and the willingness of loved ones to find ways to stay close. 

In that spirit, it is also a time to remember those who need some extra help this holiday season. If you are in a position to give this season, a turkey trot can be one of the first opportunities to do so. And since these races are virtual this year, you can organize your neighborhood race to be any distance, speed, and start time you wish! 

So grab whoever you are celebrating with and use your pre-dinner work out for good.  Sign up for a local turkey trot and support your neighbors this holiday season.

This list typically includes only races on Thanksgiving Day. Due the virtual nature of the races this year, most races could be organized on a different day or later in the afternoon. Registration for these events is available on the race websites.

Neighborhood Race Routes

Since most races are virtual this year, you’ll have to plot out your own 5K route. Here are a few suggested routes in Washington, DC that are approximately 5K or 3.1 miles long. 

  • The National Mall: The Lincoln Memorial straight across the mall to the National Air and Space Museum (round trip: 3.2 miles). 
  • The US Capitol: 2 laps around the US Capitol (3.2 miles). Start at Union Square and walk down 3rd Street SW, Independence Ave SW, 1st Street SW, and Constitution Ave SW. 
  • Rock Creek Park: The Historic Loop is an easy, dog-friendly 1.6-mile walk. Walk around twice for about the length of a 5K. 
  • 10K with a river view: The Georgetown Loop is 6.7 miles or go the extra mile (literally) on the Anacostia River Walk at 7.8 miles. Both are dog on a leash and stroller friendly. 
  • Clopper Lake: Clopper Lake near Gaithersburg, MD is about 3.2 around the lake. It can get busy so plan your trip earlier in the day. 
  • Black Hill Regional Park: Slightly north of Germantown, get lost in the woods on this 3.8 mile loop. Dog friendly. 

Trot for Hunger in Washington, DC

Trot for Hunger: The Trot for Hunger is the only turkey trot in the District on Thanksgiving Day. This year, join virtually to raise money for SOME (So Others Might Eat). Help them reach their fundraising goal of $300,000 to feed our community.  

Turkey Trots in Virginia

Alexandria Turkey Trot: No 2020 update yet. Head to Alexandria for the 5 mile Turkey Trot at 9:00 am on Thanksgiving Day! Participates are encouraged to bring nonperishable canned or boxed goods to donate to ALIVE! ALIVE! is a local charity that helps Alexandria families in need. This turkey trot is family, dog, and stroller friendly.

Arlington Turkey Trot:  The Christ Church of Arlington is hosting a virtual 5K Turkey Trot this year. They are spreading the love with funds raised from this trot! Proceeds will benefit 6 local organizations including Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), A-SPAN, Arlington Thrive, Bridges to Independence, OAR, and Young Life. 

Vienna Turkey Trot: Race virtually to raise money for the Madison High School Marching Band and the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department from November 24-28. Racers are encouraged to share their times through Racewire and tag social media pictures #vieannaturkeytrot. New for this year, all racers who register by November 5 will be able to pick up a turkey trot beanie to wear while racing. 

Fairfax Turkey Trot: No 2020 update yet. Head to Mantua Swim and Tennis Club in Fairfax at 9 am for a casual 4 mile trot. Trot at your own pace at this family-friendly event – strollers and leashed dogs are welcome. Proceeds benefit Britepaths (formerly Our Daily Bread), a charity that helps local, low-income families. Leashed dogs and strollers welcome.

Prince William Turkey Trot: The Prince William Turkey Trot includes a 5K, 10K, half mile, and a Mashed Potato 1 mile. Racers can donate a portion of their registration fee to Hero’s Bridge (honoring veterans), Team Prince William (honoring fallen police offers), or The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation (helping children who need help with medical bills). Racers can record their times from Thanksgiving Day on their favorite app and submit them online.

Trot for a Cause in Maryland

Bethesda Turkey Chase: The Bethesda Turkey Chase has a race for everyone! Choose from a virtual 10K run/walk, 5K run/walk, 2 mile, or the 10K bike ride. This is the largest 10K in Montgomery County and the biggest fundraiser for YMCA and the BCC Rotary. This race can be tracked using their RaceJoy app and must be run November 16 to 30 for scores to count. More details will be posted as the event gets closer. 

Laurel Turkey Trot:  Join the Laurel for their virtual 5K and 10K race. Follow one of their mapped routes around the neighborhood anytime during Thanksgiving week. Plus, find masks and t-shirts on sale in October. Proceeds benefit Laurel Advocacy Referral Services, helping local low income families and the homeless.

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