Turkeys sprint away from the start line of the 2018 ThunderCloud Turkey Trot. Chris LeBlanc photo

I always kick off Thanksgiving by trotting through downtown Austin with 20,000 or so other people, many of them dressed as turkeys or pilgrims.

The 5-mile run keeps me feeling perky later in the day, while I’m passing plates around the dinner table. (Or, as will be the case this year, petting horses at a friend’s house in Blanco.)

The biggest Turkey Trot in Austin – the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot – starts and finishes at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. I prefer the 5-mile timed version, but an untimed 5-miler, a 1-mile walk/run and a Kids K are also offered. Look for me there.

This is a good thing to do. Not only does running benefit your cardiovascular system, proceeds from the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot benefits Caritas of Austin, a non-profit that works to end homelessness in the Austin area. If you’ve opened your eyes lately, you know that’s a critical issue here in Central Texas, where hundreds of people are living on streets, under overpasses and in greenbelts.

Pam LeBlanc greets runners wearing costumes at the 2018 ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot. Chris LeBlanc photo

The Kids K starts at 8:45 a.m. and the main run follows. A finish line party will include live music, children’s activities, awards and a raffle.

Registration, which includes a T-shirt and a run guide, is $27 for the untimed 5-mile run; $32 for the timed 5-mile run; $22 for the one-mile walk; and $12 for the Stepping Stone School Kids K. Prices increase on Nov. 14.

Packet pick-up begins on Saturday, Nov. 23 at First Texas Honda, 3400 Steck Ave., and the YETI Flagship store, 220 S. Congress. Participants can also pick up packets on Thanksgiving morning between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. at The Long Center.
To register now, visit thundercloud.com/register.

Don’t want to make the trek to downtown Austin? Communities all over Central Texas are hosting their own turkey trots…

Participants wait for the start of the 2018 ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot. Pam LeBlanc photo



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