Whether you're a seasoned runner or just looking for a fun run (or walk), a "turkey trot" is a great way to spend Thanksgiving morning. These road races, held in Nassau, Suffolk and the East End, are open to all ages and often feature a "fun run" just for kids.
If you are not trapped in the kitchen waiting for the bird to cook—or if you are, but want everyone out from under foot-—get the family to work off those calories in advance, making room for the feast to come. For more seasonal adventures, check out our Long Island Events Calendar and our November GoList.
Saturday, November 18
Massapequa Park Turkey Trot — Massapequa Park
The half-mile youth fun run at this pre-Thanksgiving event, begins at 8:30am, while the 5K run/walk begins at 9. Proceeds benefit the YES Community Counseling Center, a nonprofit that works to prevent and treat drug use and abuse. Register online or mail in a registration form by November 14 to guarantee a T-shirt.
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23
Montauk's 41st annual Run for Fun Turkey Trot — Montauk
Show up at the village green for this community event from 8 to 9:30am to check-in for three- or six-mile races around picturesque Fort Pond. Preregistration is not required. The first 300 participants receive a commemorative T-shirt.
Mattituck-Cutchogue Teachers' Association 12th annual Turkey Trot — Mattituck
This 5K run/walk is open to all ages and begins at 9am. Register ahead of time for special pricing; same-day registration begins at 7:45am. T-shirts are given to the first 300 registrants. Print out the online registration form.
37th annual Shoreham-Wading River Thanksgiving Day Races — Shoreham
The one-mile run for children younger than 12 starts at 8:15am. T-shirts are given to all preregistrants and to same-day registrants as available. There is also a 5K "No Ashley Hill" race at 8am and a 5-mile Challenge Race at 8:50am. Proceeds go to the Senior Scholarship Fund. Download and print the registration form or register online.
10th annual Smiles Turkey Trot — Blue Point
The 1 1/2-mile fun run for children ages 10 and younger starts at 8:45am at the south end of Corey Avenue. Turkey headbands are given to all participants, and the top five finishers receive prizes. There is also a 5K run and a 1 1/2-mile walk that each start at 9am. Register online or print a registration form and mail in a check. The event benefits Smiles Change Lives, a nonprofit that provides essential orthodontic treatment to low-income children.
RELATED: Long Island resturants open on Thanksgiving Day
A fun run is an ideal way for kids to burn Thanksgiving Day calories. Photo via Shutterstock.
Huntington Thanksgiving Run — Halesite
The fun run begins at 8:30am. There is also a four-mile race at 9am. This popular rain-or-shine event benefits the Townwide Fund of Huntington. Register online.
Oyster Bay Turkey Trot — Oyster Bay
This 5K race is for adults and kids of all ages. Same-day registration opens at 7:45am, and the race starts at 9:30am. There is also a $100 turkey costume contest and $100 Teddy Roosevelt costume contest. Register online and view the course map.
Port Washington Thanksgiving Day Run — Port Washington
This 5K race benefits Port Washington Community Chest and is open to children ages 9 and older. The run begins at 8:30am and is capped at 3,000 entrants. All registrants receive a long-sleeve T-shirt. Strollers are not permitted. Roads close at 8am, and the parking lot at the park closes at 7:30am or when full. Register online here.
Garden City Turkey Trot — Garden City
The 1.4-mile fun run starts at 9:15am. There is also a 5-mile trot at 10 and a Challenger Division race for special-needs competitors at 8:30. The challenger race is FREE. Consider bringing a nonperishable food donation. Note: There is no parking at St. Paul's or on course roads.
Nissequogue River State Park Turkey Trot — Kings Park
Kids 12 and younger can take part in the 1K Turkey Trot for Kids that starts at 8:30am. All 1K participants receive a ribbon. The 5K run/walk starts at 9am, and prizes are given to the first-, second-, and third-place finishers in female and male age-group categories. Walkers, wheelchairs, and strollers are welcome. Register online, by mail, or on race day.
Friday, November 24
14th annual St. John the Baptist Run Your Turkey Off — West Islip
If you can't quite face running on Thanksgiving Day, this could be the race for you. At 9am, kids 12 and younger enjoy a FREE 800-meter fun run. Medals are given to all children who cross the finish line. For older kids and their parents, there is a fast, flat 4K run through the streets of West Islip.
Happy running and happy Thanksgiving.
This article is updated annually.
Top photo: Enjoy a spirited bit of exercise before the big feast. Photo by BLM MWR/CC BY 2.0