Before you break out the pots and pans and turn on the ovens, make room for your Thanksgiving dinner by participating in one of North County’s Turkey Trots this Nov. 23. 

We all know that Thanksgiving is a day for gratitude above all else (yes, even the pie). It is also the start of the time of year when giving back is at the forefront of our minds. What better way to kick off the season of giving than to shake your tail feathers at our local Turkey Trots.

5th Annual ECHO Turkey Trot

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Atascadero Lake Park Bandstand

8:30 a.m.

Support the El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) and get your blood pumping by running in their 5th Annual Turkey Trot. This Turkey Trot encourages participants of all ages to embrace the holiday spirit by dressing up as festive turkeys. The best part? Prizes await the most impressive turkey costumes for adults, children, and even your furry friends.

“Turkey Trot is a Thanksgiving Day 5K and Fun Run like no other. Join us at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at the Atascadero Lake Park for a heartwarming day of family, fun, and community,” says Austin Solheim, ECHO’s director of operations and development. “We’re gathering to run and raise funds for ECHO, ensuring that every step we take not only breaks a sweat but also makes a profound difference in the lives of those facing homelessness in our community. With a suggested donation to participate this event is all about community and we look forward to seeing you, your family, and your furry friends there.”

The 5K fun run/walk not only promotes a healthy start to your Thanksgiving Day, but also supports a good cause. ECHO is dedicated to assisting individuals and families experiencing homelessness in North County. This turkey trot has quickly become a North County favorite tradition. There is a suggested donation of $20 per person and pets are welcome to join the fun. Find more information at echoshelter.org.

18th Annual Turkey Trot

Food 4 Less parking lot, Creston Road 

Paso Robles

7 a.m. check-in

Organized by the 2021 Boys CIF Wrestling Champions, this trot supports the Paso Robles High School wrestling program. Here, participants will have the chance to showcase their running prowess in a 10K run, with separate divisions for Men, Women, High School, Middle School, Open, and Masters. If you’re one of the first 100 runners to register, you’ll also receive a tee shirt to commemorate the event.

“This year the wrestling team is looking to hit a goal of $5,000 for the Turkey Trot,” said head wrestling coach Nate Ibarra. “The donations and entry fees go directly to the student-athletes for tournament entries and hotel costs for the tournaments we attend. A portion of the donations also go to the SLO Food Bank.”

And if you are feeling adventurous, dress in your turkey best for the Best Turkey Costume Contest. To participate, you can register online at raceroster.com/events/2023/81103/prhs-bearcat-wrestling-turkey-trot for $30 or do so on the day of the event. 

“I would like to thank the community for always providing such great support to athletics and youth sports. I feel we need to continue with our brand more than ever to bring the community together as Bearcats,” adds Nate. “I look forward to this season. We have a lot of underclassmen who have been putting in the offseason time, along with a few veteran seniors: Dominic Marquez, who had a tremendous year last year, winning three matches at state, and Senior Sual Bautista, who is looking to work his way into the rankings of state.”

So, before you prep your turkey, bake the pies, and set the table, consider adding one of these turkey trots as one more tradition to your day. We look forward to seeing you shake your tail feathers for a good cause this Thanksgiving!

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