The Active Times Turkey Trot

Winning a Turkey Trot may not be as prestigious as finishing first in the NYC Marathon, but participating in both is equally fun and exciting. Start Thanksgiving Day in a healthy way with some exercise – whether running or walking five or 10 miles – and win prizes for displaying your creativity with the best costume.

Many people take the opportunity to start the holiday by entering a race to give thanks. The event usually has been organized with a charitable purpose. Proceeds go to shelters, food banks and even for medical research. Even more fittingly, most turkey trots are held in support of non-profit organizations and causes.

All across the country, from big cities to small towns, communities host turkey trot races because, the season just wouldn’t be complete without them. They have become increasingly popular. In fact, more than 786,000 runners crossed the finish line at Turkey Trots two years ago. Thanksgiving race participation has increased 16 percent since 2011. Some organizers now have to limit the number of entrants or add more courses.

There are more than 1,000 such races across the U.S., typically 5Ks or 5-milers, and ranging from the seriously competitive to serious fun. You can find one near you here. Some of these have been trotted for more than a century.

Best Turkey Trots 2016

For the complete list of Best Turkey Trots, go to TheActiveTimes.com.

More From The Active Times:
-- Foods That Nutritionists Would Never Eat On Thanksgiving
-- 15 Tips To Make Thanksgiving Travel A Breeze
-- Last-Minute Travel: Best Places In U.S. To Spend Thanksgiving
-- 10 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Actually Good For You

Story continues below