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Road Races

6 Turkey Trots and Other Good-Willed Races to Tackle in November

Keep up the fall fun by running a local race this November.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Let the race to the holiday season commence. We know this can be a busy time of year, but don’t forget to take a day and do something that you truly enjoy (like running!). Charity races not only donate to a good cause, but they are also a fun way to engage with your community and help you achieve a goal. 

With Native American Heritage Month, Veterans Day (November 11), and Thanksgiving (November 25) all in November, there are plenty of opportunities to run for a cause this month. Here are 11 in-person and virtual races to sign up for in November. 

Leaves to Leases

November 6–13; North Carolina, Virtual

There’s something about a fall 5K and this new event sounds like a leaf-peeping dream. The race also offers an 8K option and can be run in person or virtually. A New Lease on Life, a nonprofit that offers reduced rent apartments for people experiencing homelessness, is the beneficiary of the event. Follow their official Leaves to Leases playlist, below, for some jams to get you through your training.


Race to Feed Our Veterans 5K

November 6–8; Washington, Virtual

This local (and virtual) 5K honors the older generation of veterans on Veterans Day, and proceeds go to Meals on Wheels Spokane “to make sure no senior veteran goes hungry this year.” If you’re joining in person, stick around for free beer and chili to warm up after the brisk fall run. 

Habitat Hustle 5K Run

November 14; Florida, Virtual

Habitat for Humanity has been helping to build affordable homes since 1976. Today, they have a presence in all 50 states and nearly 70 countries. Proceeds from this 5K help the organization continue their work. Join in person or virtually anywhere in the world. Or, make it your Thanksgiving activity with this Habitat for Humanity Turkey Trot

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National Turkey Trot

November 18–30; Virtual

Turkey trots have cemented themselves as a tradition for a reason. No, you don’t need to get out and ‘earn’ your holiday meal. Instead, think of the run as giving yourself something as we kick off a season of giving to others. (Likewise, if you need a break from running, then by all means, give yourself that break.) This virtual turkey trot will allow you to participate in the tradition you know and love no matter where you are in our still socially distanced world. Starting the week before the holiday, you can submit your results through the end of the month if you choose not to run on Thanksgiving Day.  

NYRR Run For Thanks 5K

November 20–28; Virtual

After spending so much time apart, New York Road Runners is encouraging runners to dedicate their virtual run to “whoever and whatever you are thankful for this year.” Share your run on Strava and social media using the hashtag #ReasonToRun. 

San Antonio Food Bank Turkey Trot

November 25; Texas, Virtual

One race registration equals one holiday meal from the San Antonio Food Bank when you participate in this turkey trot. Run in person or virtually to help a family who needs it, especially after this trying year and a half. 

Thanks for Giving 5K and 10K

November 25; New Hampshire 

Looking to get in a speedy run on Thanksgiving in the New England area? This 5K loop promises to be fast and flat. Race proceeds will go to Annie’s Angels, an organization that helps families through disease, illness, or disability, as well as Red’s Good Vibes, a mobile grocery donation delivery crew. 

Gobbler Giveback 5K

November 25–28; Wisconsin, Virtual

Whether you’re joining in person or racing virtual, this Thanksgiving 5K is completely free. In person, race organizers will encourage donations to local non-profits, but if you’re out running on your own, consider this a nudge to donate if you can to an organization you really care about. Bonus: Hot chocolate will be provided to in-person racers. 

Truthsgiving Virtual 4 Miler

November 25–28; Virtual

In recognizing and honoring Indigenous history and existence, ReNew Earth Running and Rising Hearts is hosting a virtual Truthsgiving 4 mile run, a distance that was selected with intention. “Four is a sacred number for many Indigenous Peoples—as I run, I send my prayers to the four directions so that they reach everywhere, everyone, and everything,” writes Jordan Marie Daniel of Rising Hearts on the race registration page. “I am running 4 miles to remember and link the sacredness of what the number 4 represents to me, to us. I will continue to carry and offer prayers in honor and remembrance for our missing and murdered Indigenous relatives, to honor our ancestors, pray for our next generations, for our communities today, and feel gratitude and joy—of our survival. We are still here.”

November is Native American Heritage Month, but the race directors hope to foster allyship year-round as well as educate people about the true history of Thanksgiving. Along with the two coordinating race organizers, the NDN Collective Climate Justice Campaign, and Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe are listed as beneficiaries of the running event.

RELATED: Why These Indigenous Runners Want You to Wear Orange This September

Show Your St. Jude Spirit

Now–December 4; Tennessee, Virtual

Leading up to the St. Jude Memphis Marathon on December 4, the Children’s Research Hospital is running a weekly spirit challenge to raise awareness for the fundraising running event and the hospital. It’s not too late to sign up and fundraise for the 5K, 10K, half, or full marathon. Join the run in person or virtually. 

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