There are many things I enjoy about Thanksgiving. Getting together with friends and family for a delicious meal and conversation. Watching an assortment of NFL games throughout the day. Seeing and hearing the kids run around the house screaming and laughing endlessly. The juxtaposition of the crisp fall air outside and the intoxicating warm waft of turkey and herb-filled air inside the house. And lastly, running the local turkey trot race. Although I have been unable the past couple of years to participate in one of the many turkey trots in the Phoenix area due to time constraints (I usually am the chef on Thanksgiving Day and am preparing the feast), I still feel strongly about running in turkey trots. Here are 10 reasons for why you should run your local turkey trot race:
- Family time – put your youngest in the baby-jogger, have your 8-year old run the 1-mile fun run, and let dad or mom see if he/she can beat his time from last year.
- A healthy family tradition – what’s better before you gorge yourself with 2-lbs of food than burning off some calories beforehand.
- Safer than a “Turkey Bowl” – While when we are younger a game of tackle/touch football seems like a great tradition, the idea of sharp cuts and ankle-breaking moves, just may lead to broken ankles, literally, as we reach our 40s and beyond. A turkey trot can be walked or run, and you can go at your own pace.
- Cleanse the system – for those who hit the bars hard the previous evening (the night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest bar outtings of the year), a good run/walk in the brisk morning air could help with the detoxification of your body and mind.
- Let the cook have the kitchen – I know that I get a bit edgy in the kitchen on thanksgiving wanting everyone out while I prepare the meal for later that day. Give the cook some peace and quiet for a few hours while the rest of you burn-off some energy and calories.
- A nice break for the Cook – If you have been slaving for the past couple of days preparing a scrumptious meal for family and friends, you may need/want some fresh air before the cooking-homestretch. An early morning trot will clear your head, get the juices flowing, and give you the energy you need to serve the throngs in your home that afternoon.
- A good Cause – Many of the races raise money or food for the less-fortunate. So by registering and running in these trots you are supporting people who may not have a home or food for the holiday.
- Wish many people Happy Thanksgiving – Many of these turkey trots are just as much of a social function as they are a running race. You’ll be surprised by how many friends, colleagues, classmates, and people you don’t get to see regularly show up at your local turkey trot.
- Start your New Year Resolution early – why wait more than a month to start your “get healthier” resolution. With so many turkey trots around, it’s easy to find one and just get out there and enjoy the morning run/walk.
- Friendly competition – because many of these races are local in nature, it’s fun to see who will have bragging rights until next year’s event. You can have team or mono-a-mono type competitions with friends and family.
These reasons are why I think you should go out and run/walk your local turkey trot, but you may have different ones from these. A turkey trot is to many just as much of a tradition on Thanksgiving Day as apple pie, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Why not this year begin your Thanksgiving in a new way – in a pair of running shoes on the starting line of your local turkey trot: On your marks…get set…gobble-gobble!