Count them on, but you won’t be counting them off. You will likely consume 2,500-4,500 calories at your Thanksgiving meal. You'd have to run a marathon to burn that off. Good luck! The longest Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot you can find now is a half-marathon in Atlanta.

A morning foot race has become as much a part of the holiday tradition as the turkey itself, a rare chance to race, run or walk with friends and family up and down the generations. More Americans participate in an organized running event on Thanksgiving Day than on any other day of the year, according to our back-of-an-envelope calculation.

We count more than 1,000 Turkey Trots 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 century. The Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot started in 1896 and claims to be the oldest continuously run public footrace in the U.S.

There are many, many small local events. Fields can number a few hundred or even a few dozen. We like the Montauk Turkey Trot held on the eastern tip of Long Island, N.Y. for that reason. As at many small Turkey Trots, winners get frozen turkeys instead of medals. The local joke is that the turkeys arrive fresh, but the cold Atlantic winds soon take care of that. Tradition dictates the prizes are immediately donated to a local seniors home. The same community experience is found at hundreds of such small Thanksgiving Day runs across America.

The Texas-sized Dallas Turkey Trot is at the other end of the scale. It is expecting more than 40,000 participants this year, making it one of the five largest running events in America at any time of the year, and sufficient to put it in the top 25 in the world. In 2011, the event set a record for the largest gathering of people dressed as turkeys. Six hundred and sixty-one, since you asked, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Costumes are a big part of Thanksgiving races, and can win you prizes at many events. As well as turkeys, there will be plenty of male runners dressed in black breeches, black top with a square white collar and cuffs, wide buckled belt and black steeple hat—even though the first Pilgrims are now thought not to have dressed like that, or at least not until it became high formal wear in Boston from the mid-17th century onwards.

Don't let a little historical inaccuracy put you off. Pilgrims didn’t wear Nikes or any other modern shoe brand either, though you likely will be dressed as a pilgrim, turkey, Native American or just recycling your Halloween costume. Runners are naturally frugal folk, right?

The main aim of Turkey Trots is to run with family, friends and neighbors, and to start off a day of indulgence by combining exercise with good works for local charities. Some communities hold their Turkey Trot the weekend before Thanksgiving so that the money or food raised can get to its intended recipients on the day itself.

One of the biggest charitable events is the Run To Feed the Hungry, held in Sacramento, Calif. since the 1990s and organized by the city’s Family Services department. Tens of thousands of runners turn out to support the Sacramento Food Bank to which all proceeds from the race go.

South along the California coast, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in San Jose, is another large-scale race that supports a food bank. It has donated $4 million to the Second Harvest Food Bank and other local charities over its 10-year history. If you can't make the race in person, you can still run (and donate) remotely.

Fast Before the Feast, a 10K, 5K and fun run at White Bear Lake, Minn., goes for weight. This year it is aiming to donate 10,000 pounds of food -- that is five tons -- to stock the shelves of local food banks.

We have picked 10 of the most iconic, offbeat and challenging Turkey Trots, which you can see in the accompanying slide show. As well as the longest, shortest, largest and most historic, they include one where the first across the line rarely wins and one with real turkeys.




Get ready to challenge your body and fitness in new ways -- this workout combines three yoga moves with three kickboxing moves. This fitness style blend forces your body to use "non-traditional" muscles that don’t always get activated. It demands attention from the muscles called "synergistic muscles" -- the smaller muscles that support and direct the larger muscles like the quads, hams, and deltoids. By firing up these smaller, supportive muscles, you get two benefits: new muscle tone and definition, and functional training to promote good joint mechanics.

The Workout: Complete the first three exercises in order for the reps noted. Then complete the next three exercises, each for one minute on each side. After finishing this circuit of the six exercises, rest for one minute, then repeat the circuit two more times for a total of three sets!

They're so bad they're good. The trend of Ugly Christmas Sweaters in sports has picked up so much steam that stylings are now available for teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB as well as major colleges. Need some inspiration as we head into the holiday shopping seasons? Check these out:

See Slideshow >>

One of the things we love most about college football is the ability of an unknown to come out of the woodwork and turn heads with consistent, remarkable play, despite being far away from the national radar before Labor Day. We've had a few of those players this season, but none more so than Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.

Before this season, Prescott had started just seven games. He had 14 passing touchdowns, 13 rushing scores, seven interceptions and a 58.4 completion percentage. But he has taken the preseason unranked Bulldogs and helped turn them into the best team in the country.

More Lost Lettermen: NFL's 50 Biggest Draft Busts Ever: Where Are They Now?

And since the Heisman-worthy quarterback has given us such little time to acquaint ourselves with him, here are 8 things you probably didn’t know about Prescott.

What makes a marathon worth running? Well, other than the chance to challenge both your physical and mental limits and to prove to yourself that with hard work and determination you can achieve just about anything?

For starters, a great course with scenic views certainly adds value to an event. And when that course is lined with hordes of enthusiastic fans cheering you on, well that’s definitely a big plus, too.

Oh, and don’t forget; a race that’s organized and well-planned will make a world of a difference. When you’re running a marathon you’ve already got enough to worry about, all of the extra details (starting line corrals, in-race fuel, etc.) should be taken care of by the race and its organizers. (Especially since you probably shelled out some big bucks for an entry fee, right?)

More From The Active Times: 20 Best Running Shoes of 2014

These factors played a big role in helping us rank our list of the world’s best marathons. We first began with some simple statistics from Running USA that identified which 2013 marathons were the largest in the United States and the world (largest meaning races with the most finishers.)

We also factored in the opinions of our readers. We asked you, the marathon runners of the world, which 26.2-mile races are your favorites of all time.

To tie it all together, we created a scoring system that awarded points for everything from course quality, event organization and fan ratings based off runner reviews on MarathonGuide.com to the number of 2013 finishers and of course, votes and comments from our reader survey.

Now, the results are in and these 25 races have been deemed the best marathons in the world.

Ever wonder how some of the biggest names in sports would look if they got into the Movember spirit? Glad you asked. We've got an all-star lineup, and they're modeling three classic mustache cuts:

The Lumberjack.
The Lounge Singer.
The Villain.

So check out LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Nick Saban, Bill Belichick, Kobe Bryant, Russell Wilson and a cast of dozens. (Like Ric Flair. Wooo!)

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