Thanksgiving is all about family gathered around the table with a big turkey in the middle, right? Well, not always. We’re Texas transplants and we aren’t always able to make it down to the family table every holiday. In fact, we’ve spent many Thanksgivings here in the Twin Cities without family and are always trying to start holiday traditions of our own.

One holiday activity that’s a good idea for several reasons is to participate in a Thanksgiving run/walk. If you choose to give it a go, you’ll be forced to get up and get moving on this usually brisk holiday morning; you’ll get to be around people, even if your own folks are miles away; you’ll be contributing to a good cause, no matter which run you choose; and you’ll feel better after stuffing yourself with turkey, dressing and pie having run or walked a 5k or 10k that morning.

There are no fewer than four choices of runs on Thanksgiving here in the Twin Cities. Each in a different area of the Twin Cities and several contributing to worthy causes:

marathontyperunning1 Pre Meal Workout: A Guide To Thanksgiving Runs & Walks

(credit: Thinkstock)

Turkey Day 5K Lifetime Fitness Run

Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Thursday, November 24, 2011

Start the day with this huge run in downtown Minneapolis. A tradition since 1989, 15,000 runners, joggers and walkers turn out bright and early to work up an appetite for Thanksgiving dinner. This run starts at the Life Time Fitness in Target Center and winds through beautiful downtown Minneapolis and by the Mississippi River. The kids will enjoy the Kids Carnival with fun, fitness-oriented activities and games. There is also a Turkey Day Kids K for the little runners in your family.

runningthink Pre Meal Workout: A Guide To Thanksgiving Runs & Walks

(credit: Thinkstock)

Drumstick Dash 10K

Lake Harriet
Minneapolis, MN
Thursday, November 24, 2011

This run is an individually chip timed run on a USATF certified course around Lake Harriet. This year, they will be recording 5k splits after each of the two laps around Lake Harriet. The Drumstick Dash is limited to 1250 runners to ensure plenty of running space.

walktoendhunger Pre Meal Workout: A Guide To Thanksgiving Runs & Walks

(credit: Mall of America)

Walk to End Hunger

Mall of America
60 East Broadway
Bloomington, MN
Thursday, November 24, 2011

If the weather concerns you, then head inside for the MOA’s Walk to End Hunger for a healthy start to Thanksgiving Day. This is a 5k that is equal to 6 laps around the first floor of the MOA. There will be activities and entertainment at three locations along the route. Walkers are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food donation and donate as able. Walk to End Hunger is a collaborative initiative of hunger relief partner agencies team up to combat this very real and very solvable problem. Learn more of their definitive plan to end hunger in the Twin Cities by 2013 at Walk to End Hunger.

123701827 Pre Meal Workout: A Guide To Thanksgiving Runs & Walks

(credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Thanksgiving Day GivingThanks 5K & 1.5 Family & Friends Fun Fitness Walk

Como Lake
St. Paul, MN
Thursday, November 24, 2011

This 6th Annual Active “Attitude of Gratitude” Celebration welcomes costumes and strives to make this an entertaining and enjoyable family tradition on Thanksgiving morning. This is a USATF certified 5k course, but times are not recorded. A display clock will show finishing times though. They ask that each participant bring a nonperishable food donation to be given to Union Gospel Mission.

Anna Berend is an attorney and the author of Motherly Law Blog. On Motherly Law, Anna writes about legal issues that affect families and offers tips and resources that pertain to those legal topics. On occasion, inspiration strikes and Anna writes about something totally unrelated to the law. You can find Anna at, on Facebook at Motherly Law and on Twitter @MotherlyLaw.


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