As you place the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving Day menu, complete with a roasted turkey and all of the fixings — you may also wonder how you’re going to burn off the calories from that extra slice of pumpkin pie. Luckily, the Mile High City has plenty of opportunities to get in a 5K before the holiday festivities commence. Whether you want to participate in the race yourself or you simply want to cheer on your community members, these are the best turkey trots in and around Denver.
Where? 1700 East Louisiana Avenue
The Mile High United Way Turkey Trot is one of Denver’s longest-running Thanksgiving day races. The race is celebrating 50 years and invites nearly 9,000 participants to Washington Park each year. Whether you want to run the course or walk it with loved ones, you’re giving back to the local community and enjoying the festivities of this holiday tradition. Online registration is available, as well as on-site registration on Thanksgiving morning at the tents located in front of South High School. Participants should dress according to the weather and Thanksgiving-themed outfits and costumes are highly encouraged. Those wanting to imbibe after the race should bring their ID to enter the craft beer garden. Dogs who are tagging along should be well-mannered and be on a leash that’s no longer than six feet.
PRO Tip: If you’re bringing kiddos, make sure to hit the Lil Gobbler Family Zone located in the Finish Village. Children of all ages can play games, have their faces painted, and take photos with Gobbles! Children under the age of two can enter the zone using their parent’s bib.
Where? 4600 Clover Basin Drive
The Longmont Turkey Trot is held each November at Altona Middle School and features a 10K and a 2-mile course. The 10K course features a wheelchair division, to ensure everyone can participate in this exciting holiday tradition. If running for the fun of it isn’t necessarily your thing, you can rest assured that the race proceeds go towards benefiting the city’s recreation services youth scholarship fund. The race is held regardless of the weather, so have your layers ready if the morning is especially chilly or damp. Even if you’re not an avid runner, you’ll enjoy the scenic course while you take a stroll with friends and family. Don’t forget to stop by Vendor Village after the race and enjoy some local goods! If you can’t make this turkey trot in Longmont, there is also a Leftover Turkey Trot later in the month.
PRO Tip: Registration for Longmont’s Turkey Trot begins in early September. Participants can register online or at specified physical locations, such as the Longmont Recreation Center and Altona Middle School.
Where? 500 Fairgrounds Drive
Thanksgiving 2023 marks the 19th annual Turkey ROCK Trot in Castle Rock, Colorado. This 5K race can be run, walked, or simply strolled. Whatever you opt for, make sure to bring your friends and family out at 7:30 AM on Thanksgiving morning to the Douglas County Event Center. This is Castle Rock’s largest running race and indoor expo. When you register for the trot, the fees go towards supporting Help & Hope Center, which assists neighbors in need who are at risk of homelessness. Those who register before the cutoff will guarantee that they receive a participation medal on race day. Kids 17 years old and under run for $30 and participants in the Kid’s 1K Dash run for free.
PRO Tip: If you can’t make it to the event, consider signing up for the virtual 5K run — which can be anytime and anywhere. A t-shirt and medal will be shipped to you.
Where? 2001 Steele Street
This Thanksgiving race is held in Denver’s City Park, with staging from the pavilion. Participants will receive a race shirt, a finisher medal, and free photo downloads after the event. The party atmosphere keeps the vibes high and the fully stocked aid stations ensure that everyone is taken care of. The best part? The finish line food tables, of course! If you’ve participated in the City Park 5K course previously, the Pumpkin Pie race is run in the reverse direction. Both the 5K and the 10K begin promptly at 9 AM, with a time limit of 1 hour and 40 minutes for the 10K due to park restraints. Those who can’t make it out to City Park have the option to register for the virtual run, which includes packets with a shirt, medal, and bib number that are shipped free of charge.
PRO Tip: At this time, bicycles, skateboards, and roller skates are not allowed in the race. Due to time constraints, if participants can’t maintain a pace of 16 miles per minute — they are asked to not register for the 10K.
Where? 17850 West 64th Avenue
Arvada hosts several options for your pre-Thanksgiving run, including the classic 10K Turkey Trek, a 5K Turkey Trot, and a 2K Turkey Toddle. The trek features a steady uphill climb to the summit of the course, at the 3-mile marker. Once you’ve ascended the hill, you’ll be greeted with the Egg Nog Chug Challenge. Racers have the option to throw back a glass of eggnog to be entered to win a brand-new pair of shoes. On the other side of the hill, racers will again be greeted by an obstacle in the form of the Hay Bale Hoop Challenge. Once you’ve nearly reached the finish line, racers can opt to participate in the Fill Your Pie Hole Challenge, where they can enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie. If you’re not quite ready to tackle the full 10K, the shorter races have smaller “tastes” of the challenges from the full course to keep racers engaged.
PRO Tip: Interested participants will get the best deal on their registration fees if they book online in advance. As the day of the race approaches, prices will increase. Proceeds go to help support Community Table, a local food bank.
Where? West 44th Avenue & Robb Street
This turkey trot in Wheat Ridge welcomes participants to either run, trot, or walk. Proceeds from the race go to help feed children in the local community who are currently facing food insecurity. The race is set to begin at Prospect Park before heading to Clear Creek Greenbelt, crossing the creek and looping back around to the park. Participants will receive a t-shirt with their registration and a two-week voucher for the fitness class of their choosing at Feed Your Soul Fitness on West 44th Avenue. The top 250 finishers will receive a medal, with the top male and female runners receiving $100 in cash.
PRO Tip: Walk-up registrations will be available on the day of the race, beginning at 9 AM. Interested participants should head to Feed Your Soul Fitness to sign up and the registration fee will be $35 for adults and $20 for youths between the ages of 5-18.
Where? 2211 Central Avenue
Alpine Bank is hosting Boulder’s Thanksgiving Day 5K, with a Kids 1K Fun Run option as well. The event is staged in Flatiron Park and proceeds go to support Harvest of Hope Pantry in Boulder. 100% of the fundraising will be donated. Participants are also encouraged to donate non-perishable foods and canned goods on the morning of the race, which will go to stocking the food pantry before the busy holiday season. Entry fees for the 5K start at $35 for adults and $15 for the Kid’s 1K, which is open to ages 1 through 12. The community 5K kicks off at 9:15 AM and prize money ranges from $50-$200. Awards will be determined based on age groups, divided by male and female finishers ranging from 14 and under to 80+ years old.
PRO Tip: Those interested in running the Bolder Boulder during the summer can use the Thanksgiving race as a qualifier.
Where? 13200 Sheridan Boulevard
Broomfield’s turkey trot race options include a 10K, a 5K, and a Kids Fun Run that’s approximately half a mile. The children’s race is open to kids up to 12 years old and is untimed to encourage fun for all. While no finisher’s medal is handed out after the fun run, all participants will receive a prize at the finish line. All participants will receive a winter knit beanie and finishers receive a medal. Head over to the Race Day Expo after your run to grab a free slice of pumpkin pie to reward yourself for getting it done. Registration prices increase to $65 after November 22nd, so participants are encouraged to sign up earlier to save some money.
PRO Tip: Broomfield’s Turkey Day race partners with Sneakers4Funds. Runners or bystanders are encouraged to donate gently used or new athletic shoes. For each donation, one is made to Growing Home — another charity partner.
Where? 7306 West Bowles Avenue
Since first hitting the scene in 2010, the Gobble Wobble Run has now grown into a yearly tradition beloved by many Denver area families. Unfortunately, the cap for race participation has to be set at 1,500 to not completely overwhelm Clement Park. Online registration is available and participants have until the Sunday before the race to sign up. On race day, walk-up registration is open until the total number of runners hits 1,500. Cash or Venmo will be accepted and the fee is set at $45. The race is set to begin promptly at 8:30 AM on Thanksgiving morning. No worries if you’re not a serious runner, as the race is often a mix of athletes, aspirational runners, and families of all shapes and sizes. Children are always welcome to join in on the turkey trot!
PRO Tip: Those looking to avoid long race day lines will want to head to Fleet Feet and pick up their race packet early. The packet includes a t-shirt, your bib, and a goody bag. If you’re looking to pick up for friends and family, have a copy of their registration information.
Where? 8801 M.L.K. Jr Boulevard
New to the 2023 race is a free Thanksgiving Day Fun Run in Denver’s Central Park. The race begins at 9 AM by the Central Park pavilion and is open to all ages and abilities. This marks Harvesting Hope’s 9th year hosting the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot that many families in the area have grown to love. The 5K race is professionally timed on a USATF-certified course. Participants will receive race day photos, an official t-shirt, and a commemorative keychain medal handed out at the finish line. All proceeds from the Harvesting Hope 5K go to supporting the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research.
PRO Tip: If you can’t make it out to 2023’s Harvesting Hope 5K, make sure to mark the 10th-year celebration on your calendar on Thanksgiving 2024!
Where? 3270 Redstone Park Circle
The Turkey Day 5K has become an annual staple for the past 19 years in Denver’s Thanksgiving racing scene. This race takes place in south metro Denver, beginning and ending near Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch. Runners of all types, as well as families, will number in the thousands to complete the course and support a good cause. Online donations and proceeds from the pancake breakfast go towards supporting the Douglas County Fallen Officer Fund. The race will take place rain or shine, so participants should have some warm weather layers ready to go depending on the temps on Thanksgiving morning. Entry fees include a long-sleeve t-shirt and a bib.
PRO Tip: Whether you want to bring your young children or your pup, all are welcome to join in on the festivities. Baby strollers are welcome and pups are encouraged, though they should be leashed!