SF Bay Area Turkey Trot Races: 15 Thanksgiving Day Runs for 2023

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: November 5, 2023

Are you interested in working off a few calories before you indulge this Thanksgiving? These SF Bay Area Turkey Trot races are often for charity and some encourage participants to donate canned food and other goods.

Almost all of these are on Thanksgiving Day morning. My list includes top options in San Francisco, the East Bay, San Jose, and North Bay.

Turkey Trots in SF Bay Area

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

1. San Francisco

Start Time: 8 am

Starting Location: Polo Field, San Francisco Golden Gate Park

Race Length: 3 mile and 5 mile

A run in the gorgeous San Francisco Golden Gate Park has to be the most beautiful and wonderful way to start out this very early Thanksgiving morning. Costumes are highly recommended and so is your best silly attitude as you do this event.

This race is limited to only 1,400 participants so make sure to register early and don't miss out as there is no race day registration. Entry includes a T-shirt that you are bound to find hilarious as this race has become known for its silly attitude and very San Francisco Turkey attitude!

>> More on SF's annual race and registration details

2. Concord

Start Time: 7:45 am

Starting Location: Newhall Park

Race Length: 5k

Our list of SF Bay Area Turkey Trot Races begins in Downtown Concord in Newhall Park. This race is limited to only 1,250 people so that you will be able to enjoy your race without the crowds. Make sure to register in advance and not miss out. Each participant receives a T-shirt and medal. Awards are given for age groups and top three finishers.

>> Visit their site to register

3. Healdsburg

Start Time: 8 am

Starting Location: Healdsburg Running Company at 333 Center Street

Race Length: 5k

Run through the gorgeous town of Healdsburg in the middle of Sonoma County's wine country. T-shirts are available with registration. This year's event benefits "Live Like Drew" Drew Esquivel Scholarship for local student-athletes and helping them get to college.

>> More on their site

4. Marin

Start Time: 8:30 am

Starting Location: Whole Foods at 790 DeLong Avenue, Novato

Race Length: 1 mile, 5k, 10k

Enjoy the beautiful open space trails of Marin county as you walk or run on this race. You can pick up your race packet the day prior from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Sports Basement in Novato.

The race begins and ends at 1800 Ignacio Boulevard in Novato.

More Things to Do in the SF Bay

In addition to these Turkey Trot races, you will also find several other fun things to do around the bay this weekend. Here are a few of my top picks.

5. Monterey & Carmel

Start Time: 9 am

Starting Location: Carmel Valley Athletic Club at 26700 Rancho San Carlos in Carmel

Race Length: 5k

A non-competitive race along the relaxing South Bank Trail is a perfect way to start your Thanksgiving day this year. There are no awards and strollers are welcome if you want to bring along your young ones. 

>> Register here

6. Mountain View

Date: 11/23

Start Time: 8:30 am

Starting Location: Mountain View High School at 3535 Truman Avenue

Race Length: 1 mile Spartan Run and 5k

Unlike most of the SF Bay Area Turkey Trot races, this race is held entirely on a high school track in Mountain View. Since it is on a track, there are no pets or baby strollers allowed for this race.

Your registration fee allows you to run all events if you want without any extra charge.

>> More details on their website

7. Napa Turkey Chase

Start Time: 8 am

Starting Location: Napa Valley College at 2277 Napa Valley Hwy, Napa

Race Length: 5k, 10k

This Turkey Trot encourages you to walk, jog or run at your own speed and just enjoy the scenery before you fill up on food this Thanksgiving. This race is family friendly so everyone is welcome to participate. Make sure to dress appropriately as this event will happen no matter rain or shine.

Packets will be available for pick-up from 10 am to 6 pm on November 22 and November 23 at Athletic Feat, 3367 Solano Ave, Napa 94558.

>> Register here

8. Oakland

Start Time: 8:30 am

Starting Location: Lake Merritt Pergola

Race Length: 5k

This 5k starts at the beautiful Lake Merritt Pergola and winds around the lake during the course. It also has an opening ceremony that includes special guests to inspire you to run your best this Thanksgiving.

This is the only of the SF Bay Area Turkey Trot races that allows you to buy a VIP ticket that will get you a complimentary bottle of wine, continental breakfast, and commemorative Oakland Turkey Trot gift. The VIP ticket is an extra charge but it is more than worth it if you want a very special memory this Thanksgiving. Tickets for children under 12 cost $44, while adults can be expected to pay $54 until October 31st, after which prices increase. 

>> Details for the Oakland Turkey Trot

9. Piedmont

Start Time: 8:30 am

Starting Location: Piedmont Exedra at the corners of Highland and Magnolia Avenues

Race Length: 5k

The little known town of Piedmont, in the Oakland Hills, is a walk, jog, run event for the whole family. Special T-shirts will be available for the first 2400 registrants. All proceeds benefit the Piedmont High School cross country and track teams and programs so they might even pass you by if you aren't fast enough!

10. San Pablo

Start Time: 9 am

Starting Location: Point Pinole, San Pablo

Race Length: 5k and 10k

This family friendly 5k and 10k race is primarily run on fire trails and both are loops with only small hills. If you are lucky enough to have a clear day, this is one of the only SF Bay Area Turkey Trot races that will allow you to see up to 5 bridges and 6 counties. If that isn't a great way to give, and get, thanks on this day, nothing is.

Each participant will receive a cotton shirt and can upgrade to a technical shirt for $7 if they want to look their best. There will be water stations throughout the race and medals are also awarded to age groups ranging from 8 and under to 90+.

>> More on this year's race

11. Santa Cruz

Date: 11/18

Start Time: 8:00 am - 11:00 am

Starting Location: Antonelli Pond at Delaware Avenue, begins and ends near the back entrance to Natural Bridges

Race Length: 5k and 10k plus a kids 1k

This scenic 5 or 10k run gives you a view of the SF Bay when you are working off the calories that you'll be consuming later in the day. The very flat and fast course makes it a family friendly event that won't be too tough on you on this turkey day event.

12. San Jose - Run Turkey Run - Leftovers

Date: 11/18

Start Time: 8:30 am (10K), 8:40 am (5K)

Starting Location: LeLand High School at 6677 Camden Avenue

Race Length: 5k and 10k

If you are looking for one of the more goofy of the SF Bay Area Turkey Trot races, you've come to the right place. Many of the runners dress up and wear interesting costumes so you can be sure to get a laugh while you are running either the 5 or 10k course at this event.

Pricing ranges from $25 to $30 for kids and seniors, while general tickets range from $30 to $40. Be sure to register before October 21st to receive a free t-shirt and for the best pricing.​

The course for the Run Turkey Run Almaden's Thanksgiving Fun Run is both flat and run on paved trails so it is an easy way to start your day. This is a family friendly event so be sure to sign up the whole crew and support each other during your run.

>> Visit RaceWire to register today

13. Silicon Valley

Start Time: First run starts at 8:30 am with all others staggered about 10 minutes apart

Starting Location: Santa Clara Street at First Street

Race Length: 5k and 10k

The Silicon Valley has to be one of the most diverse of the SF Bay Area Turkey Trot races since there is not only a 5k and 10k, but there is also CEO/Celebrity race (you can compete against them), an elite invitational, quickest firefighter/cop race, a U.S. Veterans race, and also a 10k wheelchair race. So, there is really no excuse not to get out of bed and join this annual Thanksgiving run.

After you finish, you can check out the festival and see some of the best gear out there. They also have a chiropractor to help fix any aches or pains you have from your run. There is also a special VIP area if you choose to enter specific races.

>> Register for this year's race

14. Solano

Start Time: 8 am

Starting Location: Solano Community College at 4000 Suisun Valley Road, Fairfield

Race Length: 5k and 10k

If you've never been to the beautiful Suisun Valley, you are in for a treat with this race. This race will take you on a two lane road, through vineyards, fields and farmlands. After the race, you are welcome to enjoy the food booths, family activities, award ceremony and other attractions that will be out while you cool down and get ready for your Thanksgiving feast later on in the day.

This race is somewhat more serious than many of the other SF Bay Area Turkey Trot races and entrants will be lined up according to their pace. Don't worry if you aren't sure as you can decide what make the most sense for you this Thanksgiving morning.

>> More details to register

15. Walnut Creek

Start Time: 8 am - 10:30 am

Starting Location: Civic Park at 1375 Civic Drive

Race Length: 5k and 10k

The last of the SF Bay Area Turkey Trot races is located in the East Bay city of Walnut Creek. The course is centered in Walnut Creek, with the 10k continuing out of the town to the Iron Horse Trail. There will be water and and aid stations along the route in case you are in need of a little help before you have your Thanksgiving feast later in the day.

This race also has a staggered start so even though the race starts at 8 am, you may leave a little later in the morning. Make sure to check the website so you can get a better idea of what time your group will start the race. The event is run rain or shine so dress appropriately.

>> Register on their official site today

More Fun Things to Do This Holiday Weekend

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