2021 Turkey Trots: A Thanksgiving tradition returns to the streets

The Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to reunite with family members, friends and loved ones — and to get fit.

Most of the D.C. region’s classic Turkey Day races and fun runs are heading back outdoors after last year’s events went virtual. Thousands of runners and walkers are expected to turn out for a long list of races and children’s events. Read on to find out where they are and how to register.


So Others Might Eat’s Thanksgiving Trot for Hunger 5K and Little Turkey 1-Miler are back. Runners will depart from Freedom Plaza on a 5K loop before returning for a family-friendly festival including live music and games. Those preferring a virtual option can still run a 5K on their own.
When: Thursday, Nov. 25; the 5K is at 9 a.m. and the children’s 1-miler at 8:30 a.m.
Tickets: $55 per adult/$35 per child in-person, $50 per adult/$30 per child for virtual. Register online or day-of.

There are a slew of road closures and parking restrictions in downtown D.C. near the National Mall for the race. D.C. police have posted the full list online.


The 17th Annual Laurel Turkey Trot will feature 5K and 1-mile course routes through historic areas in support of Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, a nonprofit helping homeless and low-income families. Both events set off from McCullough Field.
When: Thursday, Nov. 25 at 8 a.m.
Tickets: $40 per participant. Register online or by mail.

Fleet Feet Annapolis’ 15th Annual 5K Turkey Trot takes runners on a tour of downtown Annapolis to benefit Girls on the Run Greater Chesapeake. It is not officially timed, and participants are invited to bring their children and dogs.
When: Thursday, Nov. 25 at 9 a.m.
Tickets: $40 including a shirt and medal, or $25 for a medal only; free for kids in strollers. Register online through Nov. 21 or in-person at Fleet Feet from 10 a.m. Nov. 22 through 5 p.m. Nov. 23.

The Downtown Columbia Turkey Trot promises an “appetite-inducing morning of good-natured competition” with a 5K setting off from The Mall in Columbia. Runners and walkers can earn a long-sleeve shirt and finisher medal.
When: Thursday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 a.m.
Tickets: $40 per runner. Register online through Nov. 21, or in-person on race day.

Run or walk a 5K or 1K through scenic Frederick at the Sheppard Pratt Frederick Turkey Trot. Proceeds benefit the Sheppard Pratt psychiatric hospital’s patient services, housing, job training programs and more. Races launch from Baker Park, but those preferring a virtual option can run a digital 5K, too.
When: Thursday, Nov. 25 at 8 a.m.
Tickets: $30 for the in-person or virtual 5K, $10 for the 1K. Prices go up after Nov. 21. Register online.

Bethesda’s virtual turkey chase offers a smorgasbord of options, including a 10K or 5K walk and 400-yard and 1-mile swims with proceeds benefiting the YMCA and the BCC Rotary. Virtual runners will log their results through the RTRT Remote Racing Mobile app, which family and friends can use to follow along in real-time.
When: Anytime from Monday, Nov. 15 to Tuesday, Nov. 30.
Tickets: $39 per event. Register here.


The Alexandria Turkey Trot is planning a full-capacity, in-person race for their 46th year. A 5-mile course starts and finishes at George Washington Middle School, taking runners — or walkers — on a loop through Del Ray. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend, and results will be trackable in real-time online.
When: Thursday, Nov. 25 at 9 a.m. sharp.
Tickets: $25 for adults 22 and over, $20 for ages 13 to 21, or $10 for kids 12 and under. Register now. Day-of prices will be higher and tickets limited.

Arlington’s Flight to the Finish Turkey Trot is back in-person, but this year’s event will see a rolling start to space out the 4,000 people expected. Proceeds go toward dozens of local charities. Start on Pershing between Fillmore and Garfield, and head through Lyon Park and Ashton Heights. When: Runners depart in groups starting 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 25.
Tickets: $50 per adult or $25 per child aged 6 to 17; kids 5 or under get in free. Register online by Sunday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. — no walk-ups.

Earn your turkey dinner at the Fairfax Turkey Trot while supporting Britepaths, a nonprofit helping Fairfax County’s struggling residents. Runners take part in a 4-mile route through the Mantua community, winding through neighborhood streets lined with spectators.
When: Thursday, Nov. 25 at 9 a.m.
Tickets: $40 per runner, including a custom T-shirt. Register online until Monday, Nov. 22 at midnight.

In Manassas, the Prince William Turkey Trot and Mashed Potato Mile is back with an in-person, timed 5K and an untimed 1-miler partnering with Hero’s Bridge and the Sweet Julia Grace Foundation. Both races will have a staggered start to space out participants, with departure time depending on your intended pace. Strollers are welcome.
When: Thursday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 a.m.
Tickets: $45 for the 5K, $20 for the 1-miler. Register here.

The Potomac River Running Store is hosting a Turkey Day 5K and 1-miler in Reston. Runners and walkers set off from South Lakes High School on a course around Lake Audubon. Preregistered participants get all sorts of swag including a custom race shirt and a one-of-a-kind medal. There’s a virtual option available, too.
When: Thursday, Nov. 25 at 8 a.m.
Tickets: 5K is $40 per adult or $30 for ages 14 and under. $30 for the 1-miler. Register here. Prices rise after Nov. 23.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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