Thanksgiving 5Ks: Best Turkey Trots in San Diego

Did you know the average American may consume as many as 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving, while the recommended daily calorie intake is usually between 2,000 and 3,000 (depending on gender, age, height, and weight)? While enjoying a hearty dinner may be an important Thanksgiving tradition, it’s important not to let exercise fall by the wayside during the holiday season. Get your exercise for the day in early by taking part in one of the various Turkey Trots in San Diego this year.

Thanksgiving 5Ks are low-pressure events that aim to foster community spirit and benefit good causes. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to take part—many people simply walk the courses, making it a great activity for seniors.

No matter your age or ability level, it’s a great way to get in some cardio. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio five times a week, or 25 minutes of vigorous cardio three times a week with muscle-strengthening activity twice a week. Cardiovascular activity is extremely important to your health and well-being. It can:

  • Help with weight loss
  • Reduce your risk of serious diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Help to keep your heart strong and your arteries clear
  • Release endorphins that can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety
  • Help you sleep better and feel more energized
  • Increase bone density
  • Strengthen your immune system

Here are our picks for the best Turkey Trots in San Diego. Register for one today!


The San Diego South Bay Turkey Trot and Food Drive

Held in Bonita’s Rohr Park, this Turkey Trot lets you choose from three distances: 5K, 10K, or 15K. With age divisions ranging from 17 and under to 70 and up, it’s perfect for the whole family, and everyone who crosses the finish line gets a medal! Proceeds benefit The Salvation Army.


Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K

The Father Joe’s Villages Turkey Trot, which meanders through scenic Balboa Park, helps Father Joe’s Villages serve over 1 million meals to the homeless. Be sure to stick around for award ceremonies, a costume contest, live music, and a beer garden at the Post Race Festival. If you’d like to take it slow and walk the 5K, choose the untimed Fun Runner Race.


San Diego Run for the Hungry

The San Diego Run for the Hungry 5K/10K winds through downtown, passing Horton Plaza, the Gaslamp Quarter, East Village, and Petco Park. It aims to combat hunger in San Diego, benefiting the Jewish Family Service and San Diego Food Bank. If you’re a dog lover, this 5K is for you—dogs can trot alongside you as long as you register them.


Encinitas Turkey Trot & Food Drive

Enjoy spectacular views of the ocean from Coast Highway 101 throughout the Encinitas Turkey Trot. This 5K will have not only individual and kids costume contests, but group costume contests as well. Pick a theme and dress up with your family! Donations go to the North County chapter of the San Diego Food Bank and to purchasing meals for active military families.


O’side Turkey Trot

Hailed as “North County’s Favorite Thanksgiving Day Tradition”, this 5-mile or 5K run/walk features a costume contest, live entertainment, and shirts and medals for all participants!


No matter which trot you choose, keep these tips in mind for a great 5K experience:

  1. Stretch before you begin, and warm up by starting off at a slow pace.
  2. Make sure you have comfortable clothing and shoes.
  3. Bring plenty of water.
  4. Don’t overdo it. Go at your own pace and don’t put too much strain on your body.
  5. Enjoy yourself! Participating in a Turkey Trot may become your newest Thanksgiving tradition.


We hope that taking part in one of the Turkey Trots in San Diego will be a fun and fulfilling Thanksgiving experience for you and your family. Check out some healthcare-related events around San Diego by visiting the Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups events page.

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