Thanksgiving Day is an event for families to come together and enjoy each other’s company while eating their biggest meal of the year — but for many families throughout the United States, running in an early morning Turkey Trot is now also part of their Thanksgiving traditions. Thanksgiving Day is actually the most popular day to run a race, and the tradition has experienced substantial growth each year since they started tracking participant numbers back in 2011. In 2016, more than 960,000 people ran in a local Turkey Trot.
Central Pennsylvania communities are not strangers to organizing several Turkey Trots for residents to enjoy. Here are five places you can go to run off a few calories before beginning the dinner time feeding frenzy.
1. 14th Annual SMT Turkey Trot 5K
This family-friendly Turkey Trot 5K race on the morning of November 22 has been a New Cumberland tradition for 14 years now. Like previous years, runners will stop midway through the race to enjoy a personal-sized pumpkin pie and wash it down with an apple cider. This year, organizers have introduced several fun features, including male and female running groups for those between the ages of 60 and 69 and 70 years and older. There’s also the Cranberry Challenge, where up to 100 participants will complete a physical fitness test during their 5K with winners receiving 50 dollars.
Up to 3000 locals can sign up for the 14th Annual SMT Turkey Trot — online registration is available through November 15, costing 28 dollars. On packet pickup day, if the 3000 person signup limit has not been reached, then you can register for the race for $35. No onsite registration is available on race day.
The race will begin at 8 a.m. at the NC Borough Park.
2. CenturyLink Turkey Trot
If you live in the Carlisle area, then don’t miss out on this year’s CenturyLink Turkey Trot — online registration is available through November 21, with prices starting at $34, which includes a shirt, and rising to $38 as the race draws near. Race organizers encourage participants to bring canned food items and shelf-sustainable proteins the day of the race for Project SHARE. Everyone who donates will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win several prizes.
This year’s Turkey Trot begins at 9 a.m. at the Carlisle Family YMCA.
3. Pie Gobbler 5K and 10K
In Harrisburg, you can enjoy local festivities, eat delicious pie and donate to your local food pantry with the 4th annual Pie Gobbler 5K and 10K events. Online registration is open until November 20 and costs $25 for the 5K or $30 for the 10K race. Onsite registration is available one hour before the race begins. Before the beginning of the 5K race, at 7:20 a.m., there will be a costume contest.
The 5K event begins at 8:20 a.m. and the 10K starts at 8:00 a.m. at 11 Championship Way.
4. Sticks and Biscuits Thanksgiving Day 5K
For anyone unfamiliar with hockey, sticks and biscuits is slang for hockey sticks and pucks! Join the local Annville, PA, Palymra Ice Hockey Club’s 10th Annual Sticks and Biscuits Thanksgiving 5K. This is one of the area’s most successful events where you can bond with your community and give to local charities.
Online registration is still open at $25 for adults and increasing to $30 after November 8. Sign up quick to be part of the 1700 runners taking part in this year’s race. If the registration limit has not been reached before the race begins, last-minute entries can signup the day of the event for $35.
Arrive at the Klick Lewis Arena at 101 Landings Drive Thursday morning — both the 5K and the Kid’s Fun Run begin at 8:15 a.m.
5. Tree 4 Hope Turkey Day 5K
Give back this Thanksgiving by participating in the 8th annual Tree 4 Hope Turkey Day 5K. Online registration is available through November 1 for $20, with prices increasing to $25 until the 18th. Proceeds from the race will fund new shoes for children at Hogan Miguel Malone and Maria Auxiliadora, two Guatemalan orphanages.
This year’s race begins at 9 a.m. at the former Harrisburg, PA, State Hospital Grounds.
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