8 Turkey Trots in the Washington DC Area

Update: Updated from 2017 to refect 2018 dates.

My Thanksgiving Day traditions have evolved over the years, but there are always two constants: food and family. Our Thanksgiving table is usually a combination of traditional favorites (turkey and mashed potatoes) and few personal ones (that shrimp wheel that always makes a pre-dinner appearance.) Plus, it is a good time to not only appreciate your loved ones related to you by blood but also your adopted family. Shout out to all my work spouses, weekend adventure partners, and happy hour buddies.

In that spirit, it is also a time to remember those who need some extra help this holiday season. Turkey trots around the DMV give us an opportunity to raise money for families in need. The best part about turkey trots is you don’t have to be a runner. Many trots offer a 1 mile fun run or walking options. 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.

All races are on Thanksgiving Day unless otherwise noted. Registration for these events is available on the race websites.

Washington, DC

Trot for Hunger: The Trot for Hunger is the only turkey trot in the District on Thanksgiving Day. Head to Freedom Plaza ready to run and raise some money for SOME (So Others Might Eat). Trot at your own pace at 8:30 am during the Kids Little Turkey Fun Run or at 9:15 am for the 5K untimed run.  A timed 5K is at 9:00 am.


Alexandria Turkey Trot: 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.

Arlington Turkey Trot:  The Christ Church of Arlington will be hosting a 5K Turkey Trot at 8:00 am. They are spreading the love with funds raised from this trot! Proceeds will benefit 6 local organizations including Arlington Food Assistance Center, Bridges to Independence, and Youth Life South Arlington.

Vienna Turkey Trot: Exercise early in the week still counts, right? Head to the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department in Vienna on Sunday, November 18th at 8:30 am for a 5K or 10K race. Bring your little ones to the Kids Fun Run at 8:00 am. Proceeds will benefit the James Madison High School Marching Band and the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

Fairfax Turkey Trot: 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 will be donated to Britepaths (formerly Our Daily Bread), a charity that helps local, low income families.

Virginia Run Turkey Trot: Join Virginia Run in Centreville, Virginia for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Register for a 5K run or a 2K walk starting at 8:00 am. Strollers and dogs welcome at the 2K. Make sure to register for the 5K before you get there, but walk ups are welcome for the 2K walk. All money raised will benefit Life with Cancer.


Bethesda Turkey Chase: The Bethesda Turkey Chase has a race for everyone! Choose from a 10K, 2 Mile, 1K, or 50 Meter Tot Trot for kids 8 and under. You can even be a Virtual Runner (just raise money – no running required). Races are scheduled between 8:30 and 9:45 am and take place at 9410 Old Georgetown Road. Money raised will benefit the YMCA, supporting families in Montgomery County.

Laurel Turkey Trot:  Join the Laurel community at McCullough Field at 8 am for a 5K. Proceeds benefit Laurel Advocacy Referral Services, helping local low income families and the homeless.

About Kelley Smith 71 Articles
I'm Kelley Smith and I love sharing tips on how to best explore Washington, DC. I love pretty much anything I can eat plus really good beer and whiskey served by story telling bartenders. I also like sassy museum guides, photogenic architecture, and colorful urban gardens.

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