Turkey Trots in Northern Virginia 2022

In 2022, Thanksgiving lands on Thursday, November 24th, and while many races take place on the big day, some occur the weekend before, so it's always best to check the calendar.

Kelly O'Lone
Kelly O'Lone

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There's no better way to prep yourself for Thanksgiving dinner (no, not with elastic pants) than participating in a Turkey Trot. It's a fun way to get the family ready for the big meal and spend quality time together before the dishes need to be done.

In 2022, Thanksgiving lands on Thursday, November 24, and while many races take place on the big day, some occur the weekend before, so it's always best to check the calendar.

What is a Turkey Trot?

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While by definition, a Turkey Trot is a ballroom dance to ragtime music, most people associate the term with footraces that occur on or around Thanksgiving Day. Many races are 5K (about 3.1 miles); however, you can occasionally find longer ones.

In addition, several Turkey Trots are raising money for a specific charity, another great reason to sign up. For example, in 2021, the Fairfax Turkey Trot was able to donate 60% of registration fees to charity.

The most important part of a Turkey Trot is to have fun, regardless of whether you are walking, running, or trotting. Also, dressing up like a turkey is entirely optional but definitely recommended, and please take pictures.

Turkey Trots in Northern Virginia by County

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Here is a rundown of the Turkey Trots in Northern Virginia and our neighboring counties. If I missed your favorite, don't forget to drop me a line to let me know! I love a good Turkey Trot, so I'm always eager to hear about ones that might fly under the radar.

Arlington County

Arlington Turkey Trot 5K

Date and Race Start: November 24 at 7:45 am

Location: 3020 N. Pershing Drive

Race Cost: $50/Adult, $25/Children 6-17, Children 5 & Under/Free

Things to Know

  • Register by November 1 to ensure you receive an official Turkey Trot t-shirt
  • Packet pickup takes places November 22-24
  • Online registration closes on November 20
  • You can upgrade to a long-sleeve t-shirt, which is perfect for fall weather.
  • Proceeds benefit eighteen local nonprofits.
  • This is a big event, with about 4,000 participants
  • Dogs are permitted, but it's recommended you start toward the back, so you don't overwhelm your pup
  • Strollers are allowed on the course

Turkey Trot 5K - Arlington/Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall

Date and Race Start: November 18 at 7 am

Location: Cpl Terry L Smith Gym, 1555 Southgate Rd. Arlington, VA 22214

Race Cost: Free

Things to Know:

  • Registration begins October 17
  • The first 100 registered participants receive a t-shirt
  • The event is open to all DOD ID cardholders with access to the Joint Base Myer/ Henderson Hall. (Active Duty, Retiree, Civilian, and Dependents)

Fairfax County

Alexandria Turkey Trot 5K

Photo by Spencer Imbrock on Unsplash

Date and Race Start: November 24 at 9:00 am

Location: 1005 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301

Race Cost

  • Before November 1: 12 and under/$5, 13-21 years old/$15, 22 and over/$20
  • Between Nov. 1 - 24: 12 and under/$10, 13-21 years old/$20, 22 and over/ $25
  • Raceday registration: 12 and under/$20, 13-21 years old/$30, 22 and over/$35

Things to Know:

  • T-shirts are not included in race costs and are optional when checking out online ($15).
  • Packet pickup runs Nov 20 - Nov 24.
  • Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each age group.
  • Over 6,000 participants are expected, so plan to arrive early to ensure you find parking.
  • It's requested that participants bring canned goods donations.
  • Strollers are permitted but must start in the designated stroller start area.
  • Dogs are allowed but must start in the designated area behind the main field. Also, short leashes must be used, and no expandable leashes are permitted.

Fairfax Turkey Trot

Photo by Fairfax Turkey Trot via Facebook

Date and Race Start: November 24 at 9 am

Location: Mantua community off Pickett Rd.

Race Cost: $35 through October 31/$40 November 1-Race Day

Things to Know:

  • Fairfax Turkey Trot is four miles long.
  • Proceeds benefit Britepaths, an organization that assists residents in Fairfax County.
  • Over 1,000 participants are expected, so it's a good size but not overwhelming.

Herndon Turkey Trot 5K

Photo by Herndon Community Center via Facebook

Date and Race Start: Saturday, November 19, at 4 pm

Location: 814 Ferndale Ave, Herndon, VA

Race Cost: $40/21 and up, $25/20 and under (Race prices go up $5 if you sign up on race day)

Things to Know:

  • Don't forget to dress up for the Herndon Turkey Trot because there is a costume contest!
  • Post-race beer for those 21 and up
  • Awards for the top three males and females
  • Strollers, bikes, and dogs are not permitted
  • Racers are encouraged to bring in the donation of a canned good

Tysons Rotary Turkey Trot 5K

Date and Race Start: November 13 at 8 am

Location: Tysons Central Park, 1775 Tysons Blvd, Tysons, VA

Race Cost: $35, $40 during packet pick up and on race day

Things to Know:

  • You can do the race in person or virtually.
  • Register before November 8 to ensure you receive a t-shirt and custom bib.
  • Proceeds benefit local charities.

Vienna Turkey Trot

Photo by Vienna Turkey Trot 

Date and Race Start: November 20 at 8 am (Kids' Fun Run) and 8:30 (5K/10K)

Location: Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, 400 Center Street South

Race Cost:

5k - $40 until October 15, then $45 until race day

10k - $45 until November 11, then $50 until race day

Kids' Fun Run - $20

Things to Know:

  • The Vienna Turkey Trot offers a 10K, 5K, and fun run; this race occurs on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  
  • The James Madison High School band hosts the race, and proceeds benefit the JMHS "Pride of Vienna" band and the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Music, prizes, and refreshments are available after the race.
  • Parents can participate in the Fun Run with their kids but don't have to register themselves.
  • Strollers are permitted on the course, but dogs are not.

Loudoun County

5K Turkey Trot & Fun Run - Purcellville

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

Date and Race Start: November 13 at 8 am

Location: Loudoun Valley Community Center, 320 W School Street

Race Cost:

5K: $30 through October 21
     $35 October 22 through November 12
     $40 on race day

Fun Run: Free

Things to Know:

  • There is a 45-minute time limit to the 5K.
  • The Fun Run is for children ten and under and starts at the end of the 5K.
  • Plan on arriving early as several roads will be closed.

Freeze Your Gizzard 5K and One Mile Fun Run - Leesburg

Photo by Ida Lee Recreation Center via Facebook 

Date and Race Start: Saturday, November 19, at 9 am (5K) and 9:45 am (1-mile Fun Run)

Location: 60 Ida Lee Drive NW, Leesburg, VA  20176

Race Cost:

$20 through August 31
$ September 30 1 – November 12
$35 November 13 – November 16
$40 November 17 - November 19

One Mile Fun Run
$15 through November 16
$ November 20 17 - November 19

Things to Know:

  • No dogs, wagons, or strollers are permitted on the course due to the terrain
  • Participants are asked to bring two canned or non-perishable food items to benefit the Loudoun Hunger Relief Food Bank.
  • The race course has several steep hills and is considered cross-country style.

Prince William County

Prince William Turkey Trot

Photo by Prince William Turkey Trot 

Date and Race Start: November 24 at 8:30 (5K) and 9:30 (1 mile)

Location: Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center, 9100 Freedom Center Blvd, Manassas, VA

Race Costs:

Through 10/15:
5k – $40.00, 1 Mile Run/Walk – $15.00
10/16 -10/31:  
5k – $42.50, 1 Mile Run/Walk – $17.50
5k – $45.00, 1 Mile Run/Walk– $20.00

Things to Know:

  • A portion of the race proceeds go to Hero's Bridge and The Sweet Julia Grace Foundation
  • The one-mile race is not timed
  • All finishers receive a t-shirt, medal, custom bib, and digital finisher's certificate.
  • Duck Donuts will be handing out donuts at the packet pickup on November 23
  • Strollers are allowed, but keep the pups at home
  • There is no food at the end of the race, so bring snacks

Marine Corps Turkey Trot 10K and Mile

Photo by Marine Marathon

Date and Race Start: November 19 at 9:30 am (One Mile) and 10:00 am (10K)

Location: 3250 Catlin Ave., Quantico, VA 22134

Race Costs:

10K - Live or Virtual (Domestic) $47

10K - Virtual International $77

One Miler - $25

Things to Know:

  • Strollers are allowed on the course and should begin in the back, but pets are not permitted
  • Please read important information about obtaining base access if you do not have a valid Military ID.
  • The top finishers receive a frozen turkey (a pie is available as a vegetarian option).
  • Participants in the 10K must be seven and older and keep a 20-minute mile pace.
  • There is an option to virtually run the 10K, which must be done between November 12-November 20

Gobble Wobble 5K - Woodbridge

Photo by Miguel A Amutio on Unsplash

Date and Race Start: November 24 at 8 am (5K) and 9:15 am (Mini Wobble)

Location: 12400 Knightsbridge Dr, Woodbridge, VA 22192

Race Cost: 5K/$30, Mini Wobble/$15

Things to Know:

  • In addition to the 5K, there is a Mini Wobble for the littlest of trotters with the following times.
  • 9:15 am:  Diaper Dash - 50 yards (3 and under)
    9:20 am:  Tot Trot  - 100 yards (4 to 5 years old)
  • While the Mini Wobble is flat, the 5K is a hilly course.
  • No dogs are allowed on the course.

Surrounding Counties and Beyond

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Several Turkey Trots are within driving distance if you're up for the drive. So here's a quick rundown of what races you'll find nearby.


Gobble Gobble Run or Wobble - Warrenton November 19

Turkey Trot 5K & Kids Fun Run - Berryville November 19

5K Turkey Trot - Culpeper November 24

Turkey Trot 5K - Charlottesville November 24

30th Annual YMCA Turkey Trot - Fredricksburg November 24


Turkey Chase Charity Race - Bethesda November 24

Turkey Trot - Frederick November 24

Turkey Burnoff 5 and 10-mile Race - Gaithersburg November 26


Turkey Tumble for Autism - November 19

America's Trot for Hunger - November 24

Stuffing Stomp 5K & 10K - November 26

Tips for Participating in a Turkey Trot

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  • Consider the weather and dress appropriately; unless you plan on keeping a fast pace, you'll want to bundle up.
  • Plan to arrive early to ensure you find parking, and don't miss the start of the race.
  • It's always best to pick up your race packet the days before the event so you aren't rushing to do so on race morning.
  • You also want to register early to avoid higher prices and ensure you get an official race t-shirt.
  • Always check whether strollers or dogs are permitted, as you don't want to show up and not be able to participate. Also, bikes, skateboards, and roller skates are usually not allowed on the course.
  • Check if your neighborhood hosts a Turkey Trot, as it's a great way to spend the morning with your community.

Wrap Up

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As you can see, there are plenty of Turkey Trots in Northern Virginia to get your blood flowing on Thanksgiving morning. Turkey Trots are a great way to exercise before the big dinner. Whether you run, walk, or wobble, Turkey Trots are a fun way to start the holiday.

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Kelly O'Lone

Kelly O'Lone is a mom of three who survives motherhood with some help from caffeine, a lot of humor, and her fantastic mom tribe.