The season of gluttony is upon us, but thankfully so is the season of “turkey trots” to help offset the multiple servings of main courses, stuffing, rolls, and pie.
The area’s array of Thanksgiving-themed road races starts this weekend, and many benefit local booster organizations, food pantries, and other charities. So you can do some good while making some room for holiday treats.
Norwell Women’s Club Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk
Norwell High School, 18 South St. 9 a.m. Runners and walkers get a chance to race on the new town bike path in this sixth annual running of the event. After the 5K, youngsters can compete in 100-yard, quarter-mile, or half-mile races. Proceeds benefit the Norwell Women’s Club, which funds scholarships and donates to local nonprofits. Organizers ask participants to bring a canned good or box of food to benefit the Norwell Food Pantry.
Shining Stars 5K Turkey Trot and Food Drive
DW Field Park, 331 Oak St., Brockton. 10 a.m. Runners will help raise funds for after-school programs for adolescents. The paved course is relatively flat, but participants will have to run up one hill twice, according to organizer Allisha Clark.
Norwood Turkey Trot
Norwood High School, 245 Nichols St. 11 a.m. This 4-mile race is in its 26th year, and race director Jim Henry says the number of registrants keeps increasing. That’s good news for the Norwood High School Athletic Boosters, which uses the proceeds from the race to help fund scholarships for local high school athletes. The course moved to the new high school last year, and includes the dreaded Nichols Street hill in the second half.
Marion Recreation Department 5K Turkey Trot
Fireman Performing Arts Center, Front Street, Marion. 10:15 a.m. Dress up like a turkey or a Pilgrim and win a prize. The course is “fast and flat,” says race organizer Jeff DeMoura, and winds through Marion Village and along the harbor.
Dedham Turkey Trot 5K Gratitude Run
Endicott Estate, 656 East St., Dedham, 9 a.m. This family-friendly 5K and kids’ run benefits the Dedham Food Pantry. Race organizers ask participants to bring a bag of groceries.
Marathon Sports Hingham Turkey Trot
Hingham High School, 17 Union St. 7:30 a.m. One of the biggest Thanksgiving Day races on the South Shore (organizers expect around 1,800 runners), the 5K starts at Hingham High and winds through Wompatuck State Park. Proceeds benefit the high school’s cross-country and track programs. Participants can bring canned goods on race day or to Marathon Sports in Norwell when picking up numbers in advance.
Tiger Turkey Chase
F.L. Olmsted/H.H. Richardson School, 101 Lothrop St., North Easton. 8 a.m. Run a 5-mile race or walk a 2.4-mile course and help out the Oliver Ames High School cross-country team.
Dreamcatcher Classic 5-Mile and 2-Mile Road Race
Weymouth Elks Club, 1197 Washington St. 8 a.m. The event celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and organizer Jim Rodick is expecting more than 1,500 runners. It has become a holiday ritual for area families. “People have made it part of their Thanksgiving tradition,” he said. “They run the race and then they go to a football game.” Proceeds benefit the Julie Rodick Scholarship Foundation.
Plymouth Turkey Trot
Pilgrim Memorial State Park, Water Street, Plymouth. 7:30 a.m. Head to where Thanksgiving began to run this 4.7-mile race. Runners and walkers will start at Plymouth Rock and venture past the Mayflower II, Burial Hill, and the Forefathers Monument.
Thanksgiving Day Pilgrim 5K Run and Walk
30 Golf Drive, Plymouth. 9:30 a.m. Organizers are expecting 1,000 runners this year on this scenic course that follows the original trail used by Pilgrims and Native Americans in the 1600s to travel between Plymouth and Sandwich. Runners can bring canned food to donate to the South Shore Community Action Council Food Warehouse. Ambitious types who finish both the Plymouth Turkey Trot (above) and this race will receive a race sweatshirt, and a guilt-free extra helping of pie.E-mail Rebecca Delaney at email@example.com.