We know. Thanksgiving doesn’t take place until next week, but with Turkey Trot season kicking off this weekend, we thought we’d give you the early heads-up on the annual outings that hope to pair the pilgrims and personal bests. This year, with election nerves still a bit frayed for your red-state relations, we’re thinking getting out might be a welcome alternative to Aunt Barbara’s soapbox speech on why Sarah Palin would have been (or, shudder, will be) good for the country. Short of a bottle of Jameson, we can’t dream up a better way to ease the familial relations than a good endorphin release
Lincolnwood Turkey Trot
While we’d never accuse the northern village of being ahead of the curve, it does set the pace when it comes to the Trots. More than 1,800 runners muddle through a 5- or 10K to make this one of the highlights on the Lincolnwood calendar. Henry Proesel Park, 7001 N Kostner Ave, Lincolnwood (847-677-9740, lincolnwoodil.org). Pace 210, 290. Advance $22.50–$29, day of $33; Drumstick Dash for kids 10 and under advance $12, day of $14. Sun 23 at 8:45am.
Bonfield Express 5K
Organizers are at a loss to explain it, but this Thanksgiving Day run seems to draw the oddball or two (we’ve seen shirtless and gorilla-costumed runners). Capitalizing on the do-gooder spirit, this event has raised thousands for scholarships. Curtis and Washington Sts, Downers Grove (bonfieldexpress.com). Advance $25, day of race $30. Nov 27 at 8:30am.
Chicago Turkey Trot
While most of us won’t make it to the soup kitchen today, participating in this 8K will certainly help the less fortunate as organizers hope to collect more than 8,000 pounds of nonperishable items. Lincoln Park, Cannon Dr and Fullerton Pkwy (773-404-2372, caprievents.com). Bus: 77 (24hrs), 151 (24hrs), 156. Advance $30, day of race $35; Plymouth Rock Ramble $12, Plymouth Rock Ramble day of $15. Nov 27 at 9am.
Edison Park Turkey Trot 5K
This year, proceeds from the 5K go toward the Misericordia Heart of Mercy, which assists the developmentally disabled, butEdison Park Fieldhouse, 6755 N Northwest Hwy at Ottawa Ave (773-792-9005, epturkeytrot.homestead.com). Bus: 68 Northwest Highway. $20, kids’ Gobble Gallup $10. 9:30am.
St. Pat’s Annual Turkey Trot
FREE Coach Mark Buciak has organized this 1- to 6-mile run (taking place before Mass) for those who don’t want to fork over $30 for a T-shirt but do look for that running buzz. Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W Adams St between Halsted and Desplaines Sts (773-307-0033). Nov 27 at 8am.
In an effort to legitimize the backyard sport, American Cornhole brings us this Chicago leg of its Masters Series. Don’t worry; plenty of armchair athletes will be seen tossing their bags in an attempt to win prizes and, in the case of the hard-core players, cash. McCook Athletic & Exposition, 4750 S Vernon Ave, McCook (888-563-2002, americancornhole.org). $20–$50. Nov 29 at 9am.
The Chicago Park District will host Turkey Bowls (but sadly, no Turkey Bowling) and Turkey Shoots at parks throughout the city. Most games are free, and if you and your kid win the Turkey Shoot, you’ll net a bird for the feast. With regards to the Turkey Bowls, the game is football, but don’t try to go all Urlacher on your friends and neighbors. Various dates and Chicago Park District locations. Visit chicagoparkdistrict.com or call 312-742-7529 to find a game close to you.