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9 turkey trots so you don’t feel like a plump Butterball this Thanksgiving

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Fred Van Tatenhove (right) and wife Marge Van Tatenhove wear turkey hats for their run at the 45th annual Turkey Trot on Thursday, November 22, 2018 at Washington Park in Denver, Colorado. (Kevin Mohatt, special to The Denver Post)

If you’re concerned that you might wind up feeling like a plump Butterball packed with stuffing and gravy grease after Thanksgiving dinner, there is a way to reduce the caloric overload for the day: You could run a race with a bunch of other turkeys that morning before the football games start.

There are turkey trot races throughout the Front Range on Thanksgiving, and while most of them are 5Ks (3.1 miles), there are a few 10Ks (6.2 miles). Unfortunately, running twice the distance doesn’t mean you can eat twice as much, but the 10K will burn an extra 600 calories or so. So there is that.

And there is more. Most of the runs benefit charities that help those in need. Here’s a menu for you to choose the turkey trot that best suits your holiday plans:

Mile High United Way Turkey Trot

If you’re hungry for a really big turkey (trot), put this one on your menu. It typically attracts more than 10,000, and this will be the 46th, meaning it predates the 1970s running boom and is six years older than the Bolder Boulder. It’s a 4-miler in Washington Park. The race benefits Mile High United Way’s work supporting education, health and financial stability in metro Denver. 1700 E. Louisiana Ave. Race start: First corral at 10: 15 a.m.

Louisville Turkey Trot 5K

This is another big one, with nearly 15,000 participating last year. It was created to support the community in 2013 after floods devastated parts of Boulder County. Until this year, donations of clothing or non-perishable foods were requested in lieu of entry fees, but in recent years, the race grew in participant numbers while donations declined. This year, organizers have instituted entry fees: $20 for adults (through Nov. 27) and $30 on race day. Registration for children under 18 and seniors 65 and older is just $5. Participants are still encouraged to bring non-perishable food, which will be donated to Community Food Share, a food bank serving Boulder and Broomfield counties. 951 Spruce St., Louisville. Race start: 9 a.m.

EChO Turkey Trot

This Evergreen race benefits Evergreen Christian Outreach (hence EChO), a food bank that provides meals and other charitable programs for those in need. This 3-miler might be the most scenic turkey trot in the metro area because, after passing through the charming town center of Evergreen, it makes a loop around beautiful Evergreen Lake before returning to the start/finish area east of town. This is the run’s 10th year, and organizers say it has grown every year. About 1,000 are expected to participate. 27640 Highway 74, Evergreen. Race start: 9 a.m.

Broomfield Turkey Day 5K/10K

This one takes place at Broomfield Commons Park with one loop for a 5K and two for a 10K. It benefits a food pantry, Broomfield FISH (Fellowship in Serving Humanity), and runners are encouraged to bring five pantry donations. 13200 Sheridan Blvd., Broomfield. Race start: 9 a.m.

Turkey Day 5K 

Now in its 16th year, this is the big one for Highlands Ranch and the southern metro. It starts and finishes near Shea Stadium in Highlands Ranch, and there is a free pancake breakfast (Yippee! More calories!), although there is a suggested $5 donation to benefit the Douglas County Fallen Officer Fund. There’s also a beer garden. 3270 Redstone Park Circle, Highlands Ranch. Race start: 9 a.m.

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Turkey Trails 5K/10K

This is an inaugural event at Reynolds Landing in Littleton, along the South Platte River. One lap for a 5K, two for a 10K. 6745 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton. Race start: 8 a.m.

The Pilgrimage Run

This is a community event (“a rural community working together,” as the race website put it) in Old Town Erie, with proceeds benefitting a nominated family or person in the Erie community who is facing hardship. You can nominate someone through a form on the website. There’s a 4-miler and a 2-miler, starting and finishing at the Erie Community Park. 400 Powers St., Erie. Race start: 4-mile at 9 a.m., 2-mile at 9: 05 a.m.

Stanley Harvesting Hope

Run 5K or 10K at the Stapleton area on paths in Central Park, Sand Creek and Westerly Creek. Proceeds benefit the Foundation for Prader Willi Research in hopes of eliminating a genetic syndrome that causes life-threatening childhood obesity for which there is no treatment. Co-founders Rachael Fischer and Julie Foge both have young children fighting Prader-Willi Syndrome. 8601 Martin Luther King Blvd. Race start: 9: 45 a.m.

Gobble Wobble

A 5K at Clement Park in Littleton, including a loop around Johnson Reservoir. 7306 West Bowles Ave., Littleton. Race start: 8: 30 a.m.

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