Best Turkey Trot and Fun Run Races for Thanksgiving in Richmond

Many of us start planning our Thanksgiving Day strategy months in advance. For some, the plan involves figuring out how to fit 20 out-of-town family members into a dining room really only intended for eight. For others, it’s all about the menu. For others still, it’s about the schedule, i.e., what time the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade starts and when the meal should be served to facilitate sleeping in front of football later in the day. And then there’s that special group – you know who you are – who figures if they’re going to spend the day eating, they might as well earn it first. These are the the ones who are looking for that special Thanksgiving Day tradition known as the Turkey Trot.

A Turkey Trot is a running or walking event that can range anywhere from short distances to all-out marathons. Often, these races are backed by a cause such as food donations for the holidays, community building, or the promotion of healthy lifestyles. But whatever the reason for these races, they’ve become a tradition for many families. And while some races are a bit more formal with race bibs and chip-timing, many offer a fun run/walk option, as well. This means that the whole family can be a part of the event – not just those who run or train all year round.

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend time together as a family this Thanksgiving (or perhaps need to get out of the house for a bit thanks to family who came into town earlier than you might have liked!), consider signing up for a turkey trot. Not only will you start the day with a healthy dose of exercise and fresh air, but you might just start a new family tradition.

To help you find a turkey trot or fun run in the Richmond area for Thanksgiving 2019, we took a look around and found five great options. The following turkey trot races offer a range of causes and intensity levels, allowing you to find one that will work for your family.

To make our list, we looked for turkey trot options that offered:

  1. Options for the whole family
  2. A chance to support a cause
  3. A fun or scenic route

The following five turkey trot races are not only designed to be fun, but they are a great way to support the local community, get some exercise, and create lasting memories as a family. Take a look at our list and if you know of a great turkey trot that we might have overlooked, let us know! Send us an email anytime at

1. Wegmans’s Richmond Turkey Trot 10k

Wegmans Turkey Trot
Richmond Road Runners Club / Facebook

2019 marks the 42nd running of Richmond’s Turkey Trot 10K. This event is hosted annually by the Richmond Road Runners Club and, this year, features sponsorship by Wegman’s. Even though this is one of the longer and more challenging races on our list, it’s still accessible to everyone. You can choose to run the hilly 10K course that loops around the campus of the University of Richmond and neighboring streets – or you can walk. Please note that if you choose to walk, you’ll need to finish the 6.2-mile course in under 2 hours (19 minutes per mile pace). Water stops are available every two miles or so and sports drinks and snacks will be provided at the end of the race. As for kids 10 and under, be sure to sign them up for the FREE Kids’ Fun Run – everyone will receive a medal!

What’s the cause?
This year’s Richmond Turkey Trot 10k is supporting FeedMore, Central Virginia’s core hunger-relief organization and food bank. All runners and volunteers are asked to bring jars of peanut butter and/or cans of tuna to donate on race day. All collections will be given directly to Feed More to support their ongoing efforts. If you would prefer to give a monetary donation, the option to donate directly to Feed More will be available during registration.

Race Time:
November 28, 2019
8:30am – Start of Kids’ Fun Run
9am – Start of 10k

University of Richmond – Tyler Haynes Commons
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173

The Richmond Turkey Trot 10k will be held on the University of Richmond campus with some of the route extending through neighboring streets. Parking will be available on campus in the lots adjacent to the Robins Center and the baseball field. From there signs will direct you to Tyler Haynes Commons for check-in and the start/finish areas.

How to sign up:
Registration is available online until race day, November 28. If online registrations are not sold out (there is a 1,600 entry limit), you can also register onsite the morning of the race. Starting November 1, there is a $40 registration fee (+ processing) for Richmond Road Runner Club members and a $50 registration fee (+ processing) for non-members. The Kids’ Fun Run is free to kids ages 2-10, but registration is required using the link listed above.

All participants in both the 10k Turkey Trot and the Fun Run will receive a medal and 10k Turkey Trot participants will receive a long-sleeved t-shirt while supplies last. This is a chip-timed race, so there will also be prizes for the top finishers. Get all of the details here! 


2. Thanksgiving Day Pipeline 5-Mile Fun Run/Walk 

Pipeline Turkey Trot
Race Team RVA Running Club / Facebook

The 8th Annual Thanksgiving Day Pipeline 5-Mile Fun Run and Walk, sponsored by the Race Team RVA Running Club, is perfect for the whole family – even those of us who don’t like to run. This super-casual “race” doesn’t feature formalities – no race day marshals, no race bibs, no race t-shirts, no timing chips, no awards, and no entry fee – but it does offer tons of fun and some great scenery. While advertised as a five-miler, the race course takes you on a loop over the James River pipelines in downtown Richmond, over the 14th Street Bridge, then along the Slave Trails for about a one mile before returning to the starting line, making the total distance closer to 10k. But, because it’s intended to be all-inclusive, you can run or walk the whole thing, or just a portion – it’s your call.

What’s the cause?
This race is all about bringing the community together for some fun, healthy outdoor exercise. So, while the intent is to have a good time, why not do some extra good along the way? Participants are asked to bring canned goods or dry food items that will be donated to the Salvation Army following the race.

Race Time:
November 28, 2019; 7am meeting time

Civil War Museum
480 Tredegar St
Richmond, VA 23219

Meet in the parking lot beside the American Civil War Museum on Tredegar Street, across from Brown’s Island at 7am. The race will start from the parking lot.

How to sign up:
Registration is available online until race day, November 28. There are no fees for participation, but if you would like support the Race Team RVA Running Club’s mission to give back to those in need with a monetary contribution, you can donate online here.


3. New Kent Winery Turkey Trot 5k

New Kent Turkey Trot
New Kent Winery / Facebook

For a race that’s fun, beautiful, and offers a glass of wine at the end, the New Kent Winery Turkey Trot is a winner across the board. The only catch to this run/walk is that it’s not on Thanksgiving Day, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your preference. However, if you’re looking for a turkey trot for the whole family, but are concerned about using up a chunk of your Thanksgiving morning, then the New Kent Winery Turkey is a great way to get in the Thanksgiving spirit before the big day. Not only will you have the chance to run or walk through the beautiful tree-lined streets of Viniterra and the gorgeous vineyards of New Kent Winery, but you can stick around after the race for live music, food trucks, and a fun, family day at the winery.

What the cause?
A portion of race proceeds will benefit the race’s sponsor, Bridging Communities. Bridging Communities Regional Career & Technical Center provides high school students with academically challenging and specialized technical education skills and training, allowing them to gain industry certifications and gain meaningful entrance into the workforce, specialized trade programs, community college, or four-year institutions.

Race Time:
November 23, 2019; 10am race start; live music, food trucks, and post-race activities from 11am – 2pm

New Kent Winery
8400 Old Church Road
New Kent, VA 23124

How to sign up:
Registration is available online until race day, November 23. Registration fees are $25 for those 21+ (price includes a glass of wine at the end of the race) and $18 for under 21 – but be sure to sign up soon, because the price will increase after November 11!


4. West End Orthodontics Turkey Trot 

West End Ortho Turkey Trot
West End Orthodontics Turkey Trot Benefiting We Heart Harlie and Friends / Facebook

The 2nd Annual West End Orthodontics Turkey Trot is a fantastic way to get your Thanksgiving Day started as a family while supporting a great cause. This fun, four-mile race is the only chip-timed turkey trot in the West End – so be sure to bring your competitive spirit, but keep in mind that it’s also easy enough for kids, novice runners, and walkers with two loops on a two-mile course through Glen Allen’s beautiful Crump Park. Best of all, it’s family-, dog- and stroller-friendly! Following the race, stick around to enjoy post-race bagels, hot chocolate, and awards before heading home to enjoy your own Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends.

What’s the cause?
As the sponsor of the West End Orthodontics Turkey Trot, Dr. Frank Iourno Jr. DDS, MS and his team at West End Orthodontics in Glen Allen is proud to support the We Heart Harlie & Friends Foundation, a local non profit foundation whose mission is to offset the financial strain of medically fragile children. All proceeds from the race will benefit this great cause and will help to reduce worry, limits, and fear for families facing medical challenges, while helping to provide hope, access to care, and joy.

Race Time:
November 28, 2019; 8:30am race start

Crump Park
3400 Mountain Rd
Glen Allen, VA 23060

Please note that parking will not be allowed at the race site. However, there will be ample race parking available at Glen Allen Community Center, 10800 Brookley Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23060.

How to sign up:
Registration is available online from now until race day, November 28. Registration fees are $30/entry and the event will cover all processing fees so you won’t have any surprise add-ons at checkout. There is also a family discount of $5.00 available for a family of four or more (discount applies at checkout).


5. Colonial Heights 5k Turkey Trot and Fun Run

Colonial Heights Turkey Trot
Colonial Heights Chamber of Commerce – Events / Facebook

The annual Colonial Heights Turkey Trot, sponsored by the Colonial Heights Chamber of Commerce, is now in its eighth year. This family-friendly event features a 5k run for ages 6 and up and a one-mile fun run/walk that is open to all ages. This special Thanksgiving Day event has become a tradition for many and last year drew more than 1,200 participants from the community. Even if you don’t want to run, you can still sign up to be a supporter, providing a donation to help local schools and the community at large. The race will not be timed this year, so come out ready to have a good time whether you’re running, walking, or cheering.

What’s the cause?
In addition to bringing the community together to promote healthy living, The Colonial Heights 5k Turkey Trot and One-Mile Fun Run gives all participants a chance to directly support the local school of their choice. Eligible schools include North Elementary, Lakeview Elementary, Tussing Elementary, Colonial Heights Middle School, Colonial Heights High School, and Life Christian Academy. For each registration fee, $5 will be donated directly to the selected school.

Race Time:
November 28, 2019; 9am race start

Colonial Heights High School
3600 Conduit Rd
Colonial Heights, Virginia 23834

How to sign up:
Registration is available online from now until race day, November 28. Race participants will receive a t-shirt unless upgraded to a hooded sweatshirt (see below). Registration fees and options are as follows:

$12 – School Supporter (T-Shirt only)
$15 – School Students (6-17)
$20 – Adults (18+)
$30 – Student Registration with a Hooded Sweatshirt
$35 – Adult Registration with a Hood Sweatshirt
$70 – Team of Four Adults
$75 – Family Pack (Two Adults and Four Students)
Free – Children 5 and under (does not include a t-shirt)
Again, if you know of any other great Turkey Trots or Fun Runs happening on or around Thanksgiving Day, let us know at In the meantime, be sure to check out the many amazing Richmond area resources found in our Best of Richmond series – only on Richmond Mom!