Check out all the turkey trots in the Annapolis area, and find the one that's right for you!

There's no better way to earn your Thanksgiving dinner or work off those extra pounds than to find a turkey trot! Not familiar with the idea? It's basically a run (usually a 5k) that takes place on or around Thanksgiving. The twist here, though, is that a lot of these races offer a frozen turkey as the first place prize or feature a turkey costume contest.

Considering that I live in Maryland and will be checking out the trots in and around Annapolis, it's totally possible I'll end up just as pale and frozen as the turkey. Dress warmly for these kinds of races (if you live in the magical land of warm weather year-round, you may disregard!). Layers work best, so you can stay warm at the start and strip down as you heat up -- there's a turkey dinner on the line here!

Check out these races:

1. Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K

Wake up bright and early on November 22 (Thanksgiving Day) to run for a good cause with the Y in Arnold (Greater Annapolis). The cost of registration supports impoverished families in central Maryland and helps them afford programs at the YMCA -- a great way to keep families healthy and safe. But registration also gets you a complimentary 30-day membership to the Y until December 31 and a commemorative t-shirt. The race will be timed. Sorry, no turkeys are awarded at this race, but medals go to the top three finishers per age group! Everyone could use some flashy new jewelry to wear at the Thanksgiving dinner table!

2. Fleet Feet Sports Turkey Trot 5K and Fun Run

Fleet Feet hosts a lot of themed fun runs all year long: there's no official timer and no one is declared the winner of the race. You just register, show up, have fun, and enjoy the post-race refreshments. Registration fees support Girls on the Run Greater Chesapeake. This race, also on Thanksgiving morning, features a turkey costume contest, and a prize will be given out to the best turkey outfit. The course will go around downtown Annapolis. Runners will take over the sidewalks on Thanksgiving morning, so if you're out for a leisurely stroll, watch out for those runaway turkeys!

3. Bonus Race: Jug Bay Post Turkey Trail 5K

On Saturday, November 24, run off your turkey day hangover with this trail race at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary -- called "one of the best-kept secrets in Anne Arundel County." Registration costs support Recreation Deeds for Special Needs

Out of town for Thanksgiving? No problem! I bet there will be a turkey trot near where you're headed. I'll be in Blacksburg, VA, again and checking out this race -- they have pumpkin pie stations along the course instead of water stations!

So get out there and get some exercise! You'll feel better about having that extra helping of mashed potatoes and taking that second slice of pie. You'll be supporting some great causes, and isn't that what Thanksgiving should be all about?

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Run-Around is a weekly feature, focusing on fitness in and around Annapolis, MD.

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