Early morning 5Ks are a holiday tradition for many, and there are plenty of races happening throughout the area this year. Break a sweat for a good cause, then reward yourself with a Thanksgiving feast. Bonus points if you can convince family members to join in.
Unless noted, all runs are on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23).
Update: At the organizer’s request, the Cabin John Citizen’s Association Turkey Trot has been removed from this post, as it is a neighborhood event.
1325 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Don your running shoes and head to Freedom Plaza for a timed or untimed 5K around the National Mall and Capitol, or a Little Turkey one-miler. There will be live music and family-friendly activities–including a “Best Dressed Turkey” Competition–until 11 AM. The 22nd annual event is hosted by So Others Might Eat, a nonprofit which supports food, housing, and healthcare access for DC residents. You can also compete virtually by completing a 5K, also timed or untimed, by November 30. Sign in starts at 7 AM—the one-miler begins at 8:30 AM, and the 5K starts at 9:15. Registration for the in-person events is $65 for the 5K and $35 for the one-miler, and you can sign up as an individual or a team.
George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
Join more than 6,o00 runners in this flat five-miler through Del Ray, starting at 9 AM. First, second, and third-place finishers will receive cash prizes for this competitive race, but walkers, children, and dogs are welcome to participate. Attendees are asked to bring two nonperishable food items or make a donation to ALIVE!, an organization dedicated to fighting hunger in Alexandria. Register online or in person on race day–$12.50 for children under 13, $22.50 for 13- to 20-year-olds, and $27.50 for everyone else.
3020 N. Pershing Dr., Arlington
This year’s 5K follows a new course through Ashton Heights, Columbia Gardens Cemetery, and Lyon Park. Registration—$50 for adults, $25 for children, and free for kids under 5—closes on Sunday, November 19 includes a Turkey Trot t-shirt. The race is open to participants of all ages and speeds and kicks off at 8 AM.
Crossroads Methodist Church, 43454 Crossroads Dr., Ashburn
Choose between a 10K, 5K, or 2K Fun Run–or run all three to complete the Thanksgiving Feast Challenge. The races start at 8:15 AM, 8:25 AM, and 8:35 AM, respectively. Registration costs $35 for each race, and supports Crossroads United Methodist Church. Participate remotely by completing one of the distances by November 26.
Walmart parking lot, 5885 Kingstowne Blvd., Alexandria
This 5K takes runners around the Kingstowne neighborhood and its lake. Registration for adults starts at $30 ($35 on race day)—those 25 and under are $20, and kids 12 and under are $10—and includes a t-shirt. Bring a canned good to donate!
9330 Pentland Place, Fairfax
Lace up your sneakers for a four-mile run through the Mantua neighborhood starting at 9 AM. The $40 registration fee, which includes a t-shirt, goes to support low-income families in the Fairfax area. Sign up by Monday, November 20.
Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center, 9100 Freedom Center Blvd., Manassas
A live DJ will get you pumped for a 5K or one-mile run, starting at 8:30 and 9:30 AM, respectively. After the race, snap a celebratory pic at a Thanksgiving-themed photo booth. Registration is $45 for the 5K and $20 for the one-miler. The race benefits Hero’s Bridge, which supports veterans.
South Lakes High School, 11400 South Lakes Dr., Reston
Compete in-person or virtually in this 5K or one-mile fun run. Registration starts at $35, and the races will begin at 8 AM and 8:55 AM, respectively. Check the website afterwards for free race photos.
Virginia Run Community Association, 15355 Wetherburn Ct., Centreville
Walk or run a 5K or 2K starting at 8 AM. Registration is $50 and $5, respectively, and goes to support the American Boy Project, which helps people struggling with addiction.
McCullough Field, between Eighth and Montgomery sts., Laurel
Run against hunger and support Laurel Advocacy & Support Services with these races, which start at 8 AM. Registration is $50 for the 5K or one-mile walk when you register by November 21 (it’s $65 after).
Indian Head Trailhead, 10410 Theodore Green Blvd., White Plains
Another free race happens on Saturday, November 25. The 5K, which happens about 30 miles outside DC in Charles County, is put on by the Liberty Christian Church and starts at 9 AM. Register here.
B&A Trail, 8120 Jumpers Hole Rd., Pasadena
The $25 registration fee for this fourth annual Anne Arundel County 5K supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Pick up your bib and t-shirt starting at 8 AM, then run the race at 9 AM.
YMCA BCC & Rotary Club, 9401 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda
One of the largest 10Ks in the region is back in it’s 41st year and kicks off at 8:30 AM. There will also be a two-mile run or walk, or there is the option to compete virtually by running, walking, biking, or swimming. Registration is $55 for the 10K, and $50 for the other events.
Arnold, Baltimore City, Bel Air, Ellicott City, Towson, and Westminster YMCAs
Six central-Maryland YMCAs will host 5K races starting at 8:30 AM. Runners of all ages and abilities are welcome, and your registration–$45 for adults, $25 for those aged 7-17, and $5 for kids under 6–will earn you a t-shirt and a month-long Y membership. Registration prices will increase after Sunday, November 19. Each location will also host a food drive for nonperishable items.