Health: Thanksgiving: Trot Before You Gobble

Before you hit the road to Grandma’s, pound the pavement at a local Thanksgiving Day race


For many of my high-school classmates (and me, too), Thanksgiving begins on Wednesday night with an informal, completely raucous reunion at the nearest local watering hole. It’s a time for old friends to catch up (translation: drink like fish and sometimes make out) and communally steel ourselves for obligatory time with the family on the following day.

This year, though, I’m starting a new tradition — for myself, at least. Plenty of towns in our area host annual “turkey trots,” or Thanksgiving morning road races, and I’ve registered for one in my very own hometown. And why not? It’s a perfect way to burn off the stress and anxiety that family reunions can incite, as well as a festive way to work in some cardiovascular activity on a day that’s so often devoted simply to stuffing ourselves.

Races often dole out free T-shirts and goodie bags to participants, many donate some or all of their proceeds to charity, and often there are fun prizes and silly costume contests. Don’t want to sacrifice quality time catching up with relatives? Bring them along! Many of these events are family-friendly, and several offer a shorter distance “fun walk” so that people of different ages and fitness levels can all take part.

Here’s a quick roundup of some local events happening this holiday. I’ve also included a few that are scheduled for after the holiday — in case you find that you’ve overstuffed yourself and want to atone for the damage done. Happy running!

Abington YMCA Gobble Wobble
Location: Abington YMCA, 1073 Old York Road, Abington
Date: Nov. 22, 2007
Distance: 5K race and 2-mile walk
Starting time: 9 a.m. for 5K race, 9:05 a.m. for 2-mile walk
Pre-register: $20 for adults, $9 for kids 12 and under
Day-of registration: $25 for adults, $9 for kids 12 and under
For more information: abingtonymca.org

Turkey Day 5K
Location: Cooper River Park Stadium, North Park Drive, Pennsauken
Date: Nov. 22, 2007
Starting time: 10 a.m.
Pre-register: $20 before November 16
Day-of registration: $25
For more information: Gene and Jane Hoopes, 609-561-4441 or aksts4xs@msn.com

Moorestown Turkey Trot
Location: Moorestown High School, 350 Bridgeboro Road, Moorestown
Date: Nov. 22, 2007
Distance: 5K race and 1-mile fun run
Starting time: 9:15 a.m. for 1-mile fun run, 9:45 a.m. for 5K race
Pre-register: $10 for adults, free for runners 18 and under
Day-of registration: $10 for adults, free for runners 18 and under
For more information: moorestownxc.org

Run for Your Health
Location: Summit Square Shopping Center, Route 413 and 332 Bypass, Langhorne
Date: Nov. 22, 2007
Distance: 5-mile race and 1-mile run/walk
Starting time: 9 a.m. for 5-mile race, 9:05 a.m. for 1-mile run/walk
Pre-register: before November 12, $20 for 5-mile race and $8 for 1-mile run/walk
Day-of registration: $25 for race, $10 for run/walk
For more information: 215-530-6047, bcrr.info

Philadelphia Insurance Companies Turkey Trot
Location: Fairmount Park’s Forbidden Trail, Chestnut Hill
Date: Nov. 22, 2007
Distance: 5-mile race and 1-mile run/walk
Starting time: 9 a.m. for race, 9:05 a.m. for run/walk
Pre-register: $25 before November 13
Day-of registration: $30
For more information: phly.com

Haddon Township Turkey Trot
Location: Haddon Township Municipal Building, 135 Haddon Avenue, Haddon Township
Date: Nov. 24, 2007
Distance: 5K race and 1-mile run/walk
Starting time: 8:45 a.m. for run/walk, 9 a.m. for race
Pre-register: $15 before November 17
Day-of registration: $20
For more information: 856-854-1176 ext. 4156 or jfoley@haddontwp.com

Annunciation BVM Turkey Trot
Location: Annunciation BVM Church, 401 Brookline Boulevard, Havertown
Date: Nov. 24, 2007
Distance: 5K race and 1.2 mile Family Fun Walk
Starting time: 9 a.m. for race, 9:05 a.m. for walk
Pre-register: $15 before November 14
Day-of registration: $20
For more information: Bob and Kathy Donaher, teamdonaher@comcast.net

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