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This year, the turkey races are virtual; these nine options raise money for good causes

Thanksgiving Day has long been America’s most popular day for running a race. Every year, more than a million people put on their shoes and go for a 5K or 10K run somewhere in the country before sitting down to a great meal. And this time?

“I don’t think I will find a live event anywhere in California,” said Michelle Lindner, organizer of Turkey Trot Los Angeles, which usually starts at City Hall in downtown LA. The statement is mostly true; the websites of some races in Orange County state that they will host in-person events with staggered start times and social distancing rules.

Most turkey racing in Southern California, however, will keep the tradition alive virtually. If you haven’t tried this mode by now, here’s how it works: you log in and then choose the path, time, and date for your personal 5K or 10K. You can run alone or with someone from your social bubble, but not in a group (LA County limits outdoor group gatherings to three family groups / households).

And because it is virtual, many races encourage participants not only to run, but also to walk, ride a bike, ride a jogger, or ride their stationary bike; everything counts.

There is a good reason to pay to participate in a turkey event. Most Thanksgiving races are small local events that raise money to fund programs and charities in their communities. The pandemic could be a good time for runners to form virtual teams and redouble the collection for entities such as Midnight Mission, Los Angeles, or the YMCA of Burbank.

See if your career will be virtual this year and support the causes that interest you. Here are nine available over Thanksgiving weekend, which have adapted their rules to these times of COVID-19:

The Angels: Turkey Trot Los Angeles typically draws about 5,000 people to downtown Los Angeles on Thanksgiving morning to run the 5K or 10K race. Most line up beforehand to have their photo taken in front of a huge inflatable turkey. Now everything is virtual. “It is designed so that people can do it with their families on the weekend, wherever they live,” Lindner explained. “I think if he wanted to go downtown and do the route on his own, he could.”

Race organizers will send you a printable bib, T-shirt or tank top, an engraved finish medal with a turkey design and a digital finish line badge. Everything will be mailed to you if you register before November 18. You can run the race between November 23-27 and track your results in the free Runkeeper app or on a timer of your choice. Then upload the results and photos online for the organizers to review.

The race hopes to raise $ 50,000 for the Midnight Mission, on Skid Row, through sponsors (the United Arab Emirates Consulate in Los Angeles promised to donate $ 15,000) and a portion of the registration fees. Registration costs $ 37 for 5K or 10K; $ 5 goes to the mission if the participant forgoes a medal. Information: Turkey Trot Los Angeles.

Pasadena: The third year of the Rose Bowl Turkey Trot 5K race will take place virtually. The website invites runners to “jog before gobbling.” Sign up to run, jog, hike or even jump on a 5K track between 6 am on Wednesday the 25th and 8 pm on Friday the 27th. You can download a race bib and receive a virtual goodie bag; t-shirts have an additional cost. Admission is $ 15 for adults, $ 5 for children. The funds raised will go to the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, which supports the milestone and is preparing for its 100th anniversary, in 2022. Information: Rose Bowl Turkey Trot.

Seal beach: The Seal Beach Turkey Trot suggests that runners have someone waiting for them at the end of their race, with their medal and bag of goodies. Good idea! Participants receive a T-shirt, a running bib, a finalist medal and a goody bag. It costs $ 30 for the 10K and $ 25 for the 5K. There’s even 1K for kids, which costs $ 15. You can pay an additional $ 9 to have the gifts mailed to you, or to pick them up between 4-7pm on November 20 at Seal Beach. The race supports two charities, Grateful Hearts, which provides essential supplies for those in need, and Project SEEK, an education and enrichment program for children. Information: Seal Beach Turkey Trot

Dana Point: “Tradition cannot be canceled,” states the 43-year-old Dana Point Turkey Trot website. The race invites everyone to “burn calories before Thanksgiving” on the route of their choice, running, walking or cycling, on a 5K, 10K or 15K circuit, or on a Kids Gobble Wobble for ages of one to 12 years. Each race costs $ 25. You can pick up your shirt and medal before the race or, for an additional fee, have them delivered by mail. The funds raised will go to Family Assistance Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit that fights hunger and homelessness, and the Marine Corps League, a nonprofit volunteer organization that deals with the marines and their families. Information: Dana Point Turkey Trot

Burbank: The Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot usually attracts more than 3,000 runners. This year’s virtual option asks participants to create their own route and register to run it. The 5K one costs $ 30; the 10K one, $ 35; and the Kids Fun Run option, $ 20. Proceeds go to the Burbank Community YMCA and its community programs. Information: Burbank YMCA Turkey Trot.

Long Beach: The race usually takes place on the Belmont Shore. You can run any distance you want in the Turkey Trot Long Beach “free range”: 1 mile, 5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon. Enrollment in one costs $ 30. You will receive a running bib and T-shirt ($ 10 extra for a long sleeve), which you can pick up or pay $ 5 to have them mailed to you. Participants can tour their routes anytime during Thanksgiving week. The funds raised will benefit Community Action Team, a non-profit entity. Information: Turkey Trot Long Beach.

La Cañada Flintridge: The Thanksgiving 5K and Kids’ Mile races are the largest fundraiser of the year for the La Cañada Flintridge Community Center, which supports recreational programs for children and adults. The races will be held virtually. Registration costs $ 35 for the 5K, $ 20 for the Kids’ Mile (for 12 years and under). You can pick up your bib, shirt, medal, and gifts from 2-6pm on November 25, downtown. Plus, you can donate non-perishable food to distribute to those in need. Information: Thanksgiving Day Virtual Run and Food Drive.

San Gabriel Valley: This was to be the first year of the Five Acres Turkey Trot. The race invites runners to plot a route and run, walk, bike or ride their stationary bike from now until November 26. You can choose the distance to run (none is indicated in the record). It costs $ 25 for one runner, $ 45 for two, and $ 90 for a family or team of four. Proceeds go to Five Acres, a non-profit organization that helps children and families in need. Information: Five Acres Turkey Trot

Chatsworth: You have three days, November 27-29, to run your 5K in the fourth 5K Turkey Trot Chatsworth race. The first 40 people to sign up and pay $ 20 will receive an arrival badge and t-shirt. Control your time with the Strava app; winners will be announced on December 5. Proceeds will go to the West Valley Boys & Girls Club. Information: 5K Turkey Trot Chatsworth.

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