Amelia Nielson-Stowell: Reasons to Run: Utah's turkey trots

Published: Friday, Nov. 11 2011 9:22 a.m. MST

Writer Amelia Nielson-Stowell stands with her family after Draper's Human Race. Thanksgiving Day races can be a fun and healthy way to kick-off the holidays.

Amelia Nielson-Stowell

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Make room on Thanksgiving Day for the turkey … and the stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Local Thanksgiving Day races are a healthy way to start off the traditional unhealthy holiday season of Thanksgiving gorging, Christmas sweets and New Year's cocktails.

The best way to fight the festive feasting pounds, ward off holiday stress and start off New Year's resolutions right is with a Turkey Day fun run.

Indicative of the sport's popularity, there are dozens of turkey trots in the Beehive State in the month of November. Many have expanded into more than a 5-K Thanksgiving morning. All over Utah, you'll find triathlons, 10-Ks and even 1-mile runs and walks. Awards for the top finishers are often turkeys and pies.

Thanks to Utah's infamous weather patterns, you can expect snow, rain, wind or sun — but always crowds of runners. Even last year's local Thanksgiving Day runs — which kicked off in 2-degree weather in northern Utah — hosted hundreds of anxious runners.

A rundown of Utah's Thanksgiving races:

SHAC Turkey Triathlon, Saturday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m., Sand Hollow Aquatic Center, 1144 N. Lava Flow Dr., St. George. Adult beginner (swim 200 yards, bike 5 miles, run 1.5 miles), adult sprint (swim 400 yards, bike 10 miles, run 3 miles) and kids' triathlons; $35 for adults, $15 for kids, $65 for team relay (435) 627-4560, sgcity.org/recreation/adultsports.

Davis Gobbler Gallop, Saturday, Nov. 12, 8:30 a.m., Davis Applied Technology College, 550 E. 300 South, Kaysville, 10-K and 5-K run, 5-K walk; $35 (801) 593-2310, davisgobblergallop.com.

Park City Girls Basketball Turkey Trot, Saturday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m., Park City High School/Park Meadows, 1750 Kearns Blvd., Park City 5-K fundraiser for Park City High School girls basketball team; $20 pre-registration, $25 in-person. Search for race on active.com.

St. George Turkey Trot, Saturday, Nov. 19, 9:30 a.m., Seegmiller Historical Farm, 2450 S. 3000 East, St. George, untimed 1-mile walk and 5-K fun run, raises money for Dixie Care and Share; $5 and three canned goods, aaron.metler@sgcity.org, sgcity.org/recreation/adultsports.

Brigham City Turkey Trot, Saturday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m., 600 E. 200 North, Brigham City, 4-mile adult race, 2-mile loop for ages 13 and under; $7, registration day of race only (435) 770-2399, goldenspiketrackclub.com/turkeytrot.

Spectrum Academy Turkey Trot, Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. Spectrum Academy, 665 N. Cutler Drive, North Salt Lake, adult and child 5-K and 1 mile run, benefiting Spectrum Academy; $15 adult 5-K, $10 child 5-K, $10 adult 1-mile, $5 child 1-mile, (801) 936-0318, search for race on active.com.

Turkey Trot Fun Run, Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. 315 E. 600 South, Smithfield, 10-K, 5-K and 1-mile fun run; $15 (435) 563-0048, smithfieldrecreation.com.

Kamas Turkey Trot, Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. South Summit Aquatic & Fitness Center, 350 E. 200 South, Kamas, 5-K run, 1-mile run, 1-mile walk. Donation of at least $5 in canned goods, (435) 783-2423, www.ssafc.org.

Bingham Run Over Hunger, Saturday, Nov. 19, 8 a.m., Skye Park, 9700 S. 4800 West, South Jordan, 5-K fundraiser for Bingham girls softball team. Participants are encouraged to bring canned goods for the Utah Food Bank; $15 pre-registration, $20 day of registration, (801) 864-7940, jamiem181@gmail.com.

Millcreek Cold Turkey, Thursday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m., Olympus Hills Shopping Center, Salt Lake City, 5-K run/walk benefiting the Road Home; runners encouraged to bring donations, $25 pre-registration; $30 after Nov. 19, (801) 583-6281, sports-am.com/events.

City Creek Cold Turkey, Thursday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m., Capitol Hill, Salt Lake City, 6-K run/walk benefiting the Road Home; runners encouraged to bring donations, $25 pre-registration; $30 after Nov. 19, (801) 583-6281, sports-am.com/events.

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