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Outdoor Activities

Get Your Heart Pounding at These 5K’s this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day road races in CT

These Thanksgiving 5k’s and road races throughout CT are sure to get your heart pounding (and will give you an excuse to go back for seconds—or thirds).

Whether you call them Thanksgiving Day 5k’s, road races, or turkey trots, Connecticut is full of options when it comes to getting your heart pounding on Thanksgiving Day. Some participate in them to show off, others want to partake in community bonding, and still others (like me) use them as an excuse to be extra gluttonous when dinner rolls around.

Here’s a list of the most popular 2016 Thanksgiving Day road races in CT. Did your town make the list? If we’ve missed one, let us know in the comments!

Branford Rotary & YMCA 5k
Where: Walsh Intermediate School, 185 Damascus Road, Branford
When: November 24 at 9am (registration at 7:30am)
Cost: $29 for adults, $18 for students 12 and under, $9 for the Kid’s Fun Run

A portion of the registration fees goes to support the Branford Food Pantry. You can also bring non-perishable food donations and drop them off prior to the race to give a little extra back this holiday season.

Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day 5k Road Race
Where: Farmer’s Market, Canal Street, Shelton
When: November 24 at 8am
Cost: $25 per person, $10 for high school and grammar school runners

This race through historic districts of Shelton and Derby was started as a community event to honor Commodore Isaac Hull. Proceeds of the race go to benefit the Shelton Boys & Girls Club.

Madison Turkey Trot
Where: Madison Town Green, Madison
When: November 24 at 10am
Cost: $20 per person

The Lenny & Joe’s Madison Turkey Trot features scenic views of Long Island Sound and some of Madison’s most picturesque Shoreline neighborhoods. A 2-mile family walk is available for those with small children or who would otherwise prefer a more leisurely start to the Thanksgiving festivities.

Malibu Fitness Thanksgiving 5k
Where: Malibu Fitness, 15 Executive Drive, Farmington
When: November 24 at 6:45am
Cost: $35 per person, $95 for a family of four

This race is broadcast live on WFSB channel 3 with Scot Haney and 100% of the proceeds go to support a number of charities including programs for injured veterans, Channel 3 Kids Camp, and other local causes.

Manchester Road Race
Where: Main Street, Manchester
When: November 24 at 10am
Cost: $32 per person

This road race boasts a tremendous turnout of 15,000 runners. You can also wear a costume to participate in the costume contest! This year marks the 80th anniversary of the road race.

Newtown Turkey Trot
Where: Hawley School, Newtown
When: November 24 at 7:45am
Cost: $30 per person

Participants will run through historical downtown Newtown and past the iconic Flagpole before stopping at the middle school. All proceeds of the race go to support the Cyrenius H. Booth Library in Newtown, CT.

Officer Donald Hassiak Turkey Trot
Where: Tarrywile Park, 70 Southern Blvd, Danbury
When: November 24 at 8:30am (registration at 7am)
Cost: $30 per person

This Danbury turkey trot was started to honor Officer Donald Hassiak, who was struck by a drunk driver and killed in 2010. All proceeds of the race go to support a scholarship fund started in Hassiak’s name.

Shippan Turkey Trot
Where: 280 Ocean Drive East Stamford
When: November 24, 9:30am
Cost: Free, but donations of money or non-perishable food goods is encouraged.

100% of all donations brought to this race goes to support and feed the Pacific House, formerly known as the Shelter for the Homeless in Stamford, CT. Many runners wear costumes to the event, but they are not required.

Turkey Day Trot 5k
Where: Stratford Theatre, 2422 Main Street, Stratford
When: November 24, 8:15am
Cost: $30 for those 19 and older, and $20 for those 18 and younger

The Turkey Day Trot 5k raises thousands of dollars each ear for local charities including The Town of Stratford Recreation Department and Community Services, Stratford Police Explorers, the Sterling House, WICC Holiday Funs, and others.

About the author

Timothy Stobierski

Tim Stobierski is a Connecticut native and a freelance writer and editor who has worked with a number of publishers including Taunton, Abrams, and Yale University Press. He has written for Grow Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Hartford Courant, and many other publications. His first book of poetry, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer was published in 2012 by River Otter Press. He is the founding editor of, a website focused on helping college students avoid and pay off their student loan debt.

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  • I am running in the Commodore Hull Race for the third time this year (non-consecutively). I expect it to be quite chilly tomorrow morning!