Something that’s good for your waistline this turkey day

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What better way to start Thanksgiving morning than to work up an appetite by participating in a 5K race? Not only will you get those digestive juices flowing early, but you’ll make it home in time to see most of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade (aired on NBC from 9 a.m. to noon) and color your turkey.

The Turkey Day 5K, hosted by Lifetime Fitness, is a fun run and walk – one that is not timed –on Thanksgiving Day morning. The run begins at 8:20 a.m. outside the Target Center, while the walkers and people with strollers or dogs in tow start ten minutes later.

Where can I register?

• Race Day inside the Target Center

• Online at lifetimefitness.com/events before midnight on November 25

• In person by November 26 at one of the following Twin Cities running stores:
o Start Line
o Runner’s Gate
o Run N Fun
o TC Running Company

“People get out and do something fun before they go and glutton themselves,” said Peter Spencer, the race director, with a laugh. “They don’t have to feel as guilty about what they’re eating later.”

The past few years have seen crowds between 8,000 and 9,000 people and are expected to be about the same this year, Spencer said. This will be the third year that Lifetime has hosted the run, but a turkey trot on Turkey Day has been going on in Minneapolis for more than 20 years, Spencer said.

“[The run] is very much a tradition for family and friends to get together,” Spencer said

Some people even get dressed up to participate in the festivities. About one quarter of the participants have been known to show up in costume. There are full-fledged turkeys and pilgrims complete with running shoes, as well as people wearing just a hat or some other festive piece of apparel. Some costumes have nothing at all to do with the holiday.

First time runner Reed McCoy plans on dressing as a turkey, if he can find materials to make a costume.

“I like to start off my day doing something [active.] It makes me feel less worried about sitting around all day eating and watching football,” McCoy said.

The run isn’t only a fun way to start the morning. Part of the proceeds from registration fees are donated to Second Harvest Heartland, a hunger relief organization, and people are also encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate.

Some people donate even more. Spencer said that one of his best memories from the event was when a man pulled up in his truck and handed him a $100 bill to donate to the charity.

“It’s just amazing,” Spencer said. “I’m so proud to be a part of it.”

Kristen Anderson is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota and an intern at the TC Daily Planet.