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Turkey Day Run
Photograph: John BedessemTurkey Day Run

Where to run a turkey trot in Chicago

Looking to burn some calories before you binge on sweet potatoes and stuffing? Sign up for a festive holiday race.

Written by
Stephanie Bernstein
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Thanksgiving traditions vary, but gorging on an indulgent feast is a universal practice. Whether you want to offset your food coma or convince the family to do something together, there are plenty of races happening throughout the holiday weekend this year. And with varying levels of seriousness, you don't have to be an athlete to participate (a few even reward you with something gluttonous when you cross the finish line). On your mark, get set, trot! 

RECOMMENDED: The best Thanksgiving events in Chicago

Turkey trots in Chicago

Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot
  • Sports and fitness
  • price 2 of 4

This historic 5K allows runners, joggers and walkers in Elmhurst to strut their stuff on Thanksgiving Day. The event raises money for various local beneficiaries to help families in need.

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Edison Park Turkey Trot
  • Sports and fitness

The North Side neighborhood tackles Turkey Day with its own annual 5K. Bring the kids for the Gobble Gallop, a junior race for ages 10 and under. Proceeds this year support the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Evanston Flying Turkey 5K
  • Sports and fitness
  • price 2 of 4

Put on your complimentary turkey hat and run along the Evanston lakefront bright and early. Make it to the finish line for refreshments—the perfect way to warm up for the feast ahead.

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North Shore Turkey Trot
  • Sports and fitness
  • price 2 of 4

Head to Highland Park and decide between a 5 or 10K race, both of which start before 9am so that you can get back in time to help Mom roast the turkey. Bonus: Runners receive a free personal apple pie at the finish line.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Running
  • price 2 of 4

Chicago's longest running Thanksgiving tradition rewards runners with a limited edition long-sleeve, finisher medal and a complimentary Lagunitas beer at the finish line. Participants can run in 5K or 8K races before partaking in a post-race Turkey Tailgate, with plenty of food and hot beverages.

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Grant Park Turkey Trot
  • Sports and fitness
  • Running
  • price 2 of 4

This post-Thanksgiving race takes participants through Grant Park, offering incredible views of the city's skyline throughout the timed or untimed race. Little ones are invited to expend extra energy at the free Kids Dash, and everyone gets a cinnamon roll at the finish line. Proceeds go to Playworks, an organization helping low-income schools provide for students.

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