Work Up an Appetite at One of These Seven NC Thanksgiving Fun Runs

These two runners brought the Thanksgiving spirt at a prior Charlotte Turkey Trot (Image courtesy of Charlotte Turkey Trot.)

By Sarah Ovaska

November 24, 2021

Jumpstart your Thanksgiving with a morning run from our list of North Carolina turkey trots. 

Thanksgiving is a day of second and third helpings and multiple grazings of the deviled egg tray.

So it makes sense for some to prep for the big meal by getting out and exercising with others.

To that end, we’ve drummed up a list of turkey trots and other runs (or walks!) that are happening around the state this Thursday. Some are more casual than others, but all have you out there moving. The weather reports so far say most of North Carolina is going to be clear, but chilly, so layer up before you head out.

Charlotte Turkey Trot

 The Charlotte Turkey Trot has been getting Charlotte residents out on Thanksgiving mornings for more than 30 decades. There’s an 8K, 5K, 1-mile and tot trot option. The first race starts at 8 a.m. at SouthPark Mall, where it circles back to end as well.

Proceeds from the race  go to Samaritan’s Feet, a charity looking to get quality shoes for local kids who need them.

You’ve still got time to sign up and pay for the race here. Registered participants take home race-day swag (shirts).

Goldsboro Family YMCA Turkey Trot

This race has been going on for 16 years. There’s a 5K (timed and untimed) and a one-mile fun run and walk. Sign up here. Tthis turkey trot benefits the local YMCA.

Thanksgiving Day Hash Run, Winston-Salem

Lace up your sneakers and head to this fun, casual run in Winston-Salem. The Thanksgiving Day Hash Run is free to take part in, but organizers are asking people to sign up ahead of time here.

This race is a little different than the others — a hash run has a “hare” who gets a 10-minute early start, leaving a trail of flour (i.e., “hash marks”) for people to follow. It can be hard to find, so part of the fun is when runners split up to figure out where the trail goes. How fun!

The 3- to 4-mile run starts at Shelter #5 in Miller Park, 400 Leisure Lane, right at 9 am. Thanksgiving gear proclaiming your love of turkey or similar festive attire is appreciated and encouraged!

Lumberton Turkey Trot

The Robeson Road Runners are behind the 5k and 1-mile runs this year at the free Lumberton Turkey Trot. The runs begin at 8 am at the Historic Downtown Plaza. No need to sign up, just show up and burn some calories with your neighbors as you walk, trot or run! All are welcome; you can get more information here.

Twin Rivers YMCA Annual Turkey Trot, New Bern

The YMCA is hosting its 14th Annual Turkey Trot 5k and 10k Thursday morning to raise money for programs such as swim lessons, summer day camps and YMCA memberships. The race is held at the Taberna Golf and Country Club, 401 Taberna Way. The $40 to $45 registration fee can be paid ahead of time here, with the 5K recommended for families, strollers and leashed dogs while the 10K is a bit more competitive.

There’s also a 40-yard Kid’s Dash with a $15 registration fee, where everyone will be a winner (and come home with a t-shirt and medal).

The 10K begins at 7:45 a.m., followed by the 5K at 8 a.m., and the Kid’s Dash at 9:15 a.m.

Beau’s Buddies Turkey Trot for Kids, Greenville

This annual 5k and family walk in downtown Greenville raises money to help Eastern North Carolina families battling cancer.

The 5K race begins at 8 a.m.The fees are $25 for the 5k and $20 for the family walk. All participants receive a t-shirt. More information is available here

Asheville Turkey Trot

It might  be western North Carolina’s most popular Thanksgiving race. The 5K and 1-mile Gobble Wobble Fun Run begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by the 5K at 9:15. This year’s race will benefit the MANNA FoodBank. Runners and walkers should register here.


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