Triangle Turkey Trots to Try

There are plenty of Turkey Trots in the Triangle for burning off Thanksgiving calories
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Turkey Trots are a fun family tradition on Thanksgiving morning.

What's a turkey trot, you ask? It's a fun Thanksgiving tradition more and more families are enjoying. In anticipation of eating lots of delicious food on Thanksgiving day, many folks participate in timed races, fun runs, walks and kids' races to burn off calories and energy early on Thanksgiving morning. And for you Thanksgiving chefs out there, Turkey Trots also empty out your house so you can get some serious meal prep done! 

During these typically casual events, people often run in fun costumes to ramp up the enjoyment for all. At the time this post was published, the races listed below were still open for online registration, but most of them sell out regularly and raise prices the longer you wait to register. So don't dally! Some Triangle towns, like Apex, host Turkey Trots the weekend before Thanksgiving, so you may be able to register for one of those races if running on Thanksgiving Day isn't possible.

Gallop & Gorge 8K

Downtown Carrboro

Little Turkey Kids Races are FREE for children ages 2-9, and will be held after the 8K awards presentation. Participants will be divided into age groups 2-3, 4-5, 6-7 and 8-9, and kids will race to the finish line. 

This is the last race in the 15th Annual Le Tour de Carrboro race series. Beginning at 8 a.m., the race starts and finishes on Weaver Street in downtown Carrboro and meanders through nearby neighborhoods. Online registration ($30) is available until Nov. 25. Day-of-race registration ($35) is also available but organizers urge participants to register early to avoid long lines on race day. Little Turkey Kids Races (FREE) will be available for ages 2-9 with no registration required. Net proceeds from the race are distributed to community partners. Walkers welcome; baby strollers/joggers are permitted; pets are not allowed on the race course.

Gobbler's Run 5K

Wake Forest

With a mission of raising funds for the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club, the Gobbler's Run 5K race is a Thanksgiving tradition for many area families.

Photo courtesy of Emily Pelliccia

This Wake Forest run started with only 314 runners but now attracts more than 2,000 participants. The 5K race will start and finish at the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club beginning at 8 a.m. The course is mostly flat, looping through the historic residential and business districts. There will be one water stop at the half-way point located on Main Street. Online registration ends Nov. 25, and pricing is $20-$30 for ages 16 and older and $15-$25 for ages 6-15 — depending on the date of purchase. There's also a FREE race for ages 5 and younger. In-person registration is available if you miss the online deadline. One-hundred percent of the proceeds go back to the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club. Walkers, strollers and dog walkers are welcome. 

Inside-Out Sports Turkey Trot


The 2019 Inside-Out Sports Turkey Trot includes a 1-mile fun run, an 8K main event, and a Kids' Dash. 

Photo courtesy of Mike Murray/Inside-Out Sports

Wear your Thanksgiving costume, bring your whole extended family, strap on your running shoes, and join the fun on Thanksgiving morning. You'll find races for the whole family at this Cary event: the 8K, 1-mile Fun Run and the Kids' Dash. The morning begins with the 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk at 8:30 a.m. The featured 8K starts at 9 a.m., and the 100-yard Kids' Dash for children ages 7 and under goes off at 10:30 a.m. The race starts and finishes on Rainbrook Drive across Cary Parkway about 1/4 mile from the Inside-Out Sports. Online registration is available until Nov. 27 for $30 for the 8K, $15 for the Fun Run and $10 for the Kids' Dash (ages 7 and under), and day-of-race registration is available with a $5 premium.

New Balance Thanksgiving Day 8K and 5K


photo courtesy of New Balance (Raleigh, NC) Facebook Page

Formerly known as the Renaissance Center Turkey Trot, this Durham race offers an 8K, 5K, 1 Mile Fun Run and 100 Yard Kids' Dash options. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at Renaissance Center across the street from the Streets at Southpoint Mall. Entry fees range from $5 for the Kids Dash to $40 for the 8K if you register online by Nov. 27. Families with 5 or more members running either the 5K or 8K qualify for a family discount (discount does not include members running the 1 Mile or Kids Dash) by contacting

Ridgewood Turkey Trot


Photo courtesy of the Ridgewood Turkey Trot Facebook Page

The event has sold out each of the past 9 years, so don't wait to register for the 8K or 100-yard Kids' Dash (ages 7 and younger). The race takes place at at Ridgewood Shopping Center at Wade Avenue and Ridge Road in Raleigh and begins at 8:30 a.m. Proceeds from this race benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Registration fees ($5-$36) go up the longer you wait, so register now. If your registrations reach $100 or more in a single order, you can score a 15 percent discount by using the "FriendsAndFamily" promo code. Kids can decorate the finish chute with sidewalk chalk while the runners are out on the course. Strollers, baby joggers and dogs are not permitted for insurance reasons.

Skinny Turkey 10K and Half Marathon & the Just Think First 5K


Photo courtesy of the Skinny Turkey Half Marathon and Just Think First 5k Facebook Page

The Annual Skinny Turkey 10K and Half Marathon and the Just Think First 5K start and finish at Wakefield High School in North Raleigh. Half marathon fees run $65, the 10K is $40, the 5K (walk, run) is $30, the 1-mile walk is $15 and the Kids' Fun Run is $10 through Nov. 20. Prices go up on race day, so register soon. All distances are stroller-friendly and pet-friendly. Finisher's medals for every distance. Affiliated charity: The Just Think First Program seeks to raise awareness on various topics that affect teens in society today including violence, sex, drugs, alcohol, gangs and negative peer pressure.

Turkey Leg 5K


Photo courtesy of Michelle Wester/Town of Knightdale

Knightdale Parks, Recreation and Cultural Programs presents the annual Turkey Leg 5K on Thanksgiving Day at Knightdale Station Park Amphitheater. The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. and participants will run through the streets of Knightdale and return back to Knightdale Station Park. Registration is $20 per person. This race has sold out in previous years. Registration ends Nov. 25. This is a family-friendly race; strollers and dogs are allowed.

Trophy Trot 10K


Photo courtesy of Jason Honeycutt/Runologie Facebook Page

The annual Trophy Trot 10K starts at 8 a.m. and finishes in front of Healing Transitions on 1251 Goode St. in Raleigh, just off Lake Wheeler Road on Dix Park. Registration fees are $30 until Sept. 30, $35 Oct. 1-31, $40 Nov.1-27, $45 on race day, and includes a race medal and a beer from Trophy Brewing Company (non-alcoholic options are also available). A free 400 meter run for kids occurs right before the 10K start. Strollers are welcome. No dogs at this time.


Categories: Exercise, Family, Health + Fitness, Outdoors, Seasonal Fun, Things To Do