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.
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…
- Lake Travis Education Foundation 2019 Hill Country Turkey Trot presented by St. David’s HealthCare. A chip-timed 5K run/walk and 1-mile Puffin’ for Stuffing start at 8:30 a.m. at The Hills Country Club, 26 Club Estates Parkway. Proceeds benefit Lake Travis schools. Strollers and leashed dogs are welcome. Register at LTEducationFoundation.org.
- Steiner Ranch Turkey Trot. A 5K run and kids fun run start at 8 a.m. Nov. 28 at Town Square, 12550 Country Trails Lane. A portion of registration fees benefits Community First! Village. Refreshments at the finish line. To register go to https://allevents.in/austin/2019-steiner-ranch-turkey-trot/1000072403249067.
- Turkey Trails Austin. Choose from a chip-timed 5K, 10K or 1-mile route at this inaugural run that starts at 9 a.m. Old Settlers Park, 3300 E. Palm Valley Boulevard in Round Rock. T-shirt, custom finishers medals, awards a costume and more are included. To register go to https://runsignup.com/Race/TX/RoundRock/TurkeyTrailsAustin.
- Balcones Woods Turkey Trot. A Kids K starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Balcones Woods Club House, 11204 Alhambra Drive, followed by a 10K and 5K. Proceeds benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Register at 7:45 a.m. race day. For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/events/balcones-woods-club-house/5th-balcones-woods-turkey-trot/2390119707915309/
- Tipsy Turkey Trot. Run 5 miles and visit six bars during this pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Trot that starts at noon Sunday, Nov. 23 at Lustre Pearl East, 114 Linden Street. Proceeds benefit Operation Turkey, which provides holiday meals to the less fortunate. For more information go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/5th-annual-tipsy-turkey-trot-tickets-77914160351.
- IDEA Health Professions Turkey Trot. Bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Keep Austin Fed at this free run, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 at 58166 Wilcab Drive near U.S. Highway 183 and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
- Turkey Trot Fun Run. Run around nine holes of the River Place Country Club, 4207 River Place Boulevard, at this run scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 17. Pets and strollers welcome; free hot chocolate for participants. For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/events/river-place-country-club/turkey-trot-fun-run/263016997967955/.
- Round Rock Turkey Trot. Choose from a 5-mile or 2-mile course at this run, hosted by Fleet Feet Round Rock and benefitting the Round Rock Serving Center, Operation Blue Santa and the Backpack Coalition. First race starts at 8 a.m. Nov. 28 at 3400 E. Palm Valley Drive. For more information go to https://runsignup.com/Race/TX/RoundRock/InauguralRoundRockTurkeyTrot?aflt_token=ulJ49HheoqxtLIpGCItJrzzVgvO57Xms.
- Drippin’ With Thanks. Proceeds from this 5K and family fun run benefit Helping Hands of Dripping Springs. The race begins at 8 a.m. Nov. 28 at the Highpointe Amenity Center on Cool Springs Way. For more information go to https://runsignup.com/Race/TX/Austin/DrippinwithThanks5KandFamilyFunRun.