Iowa Turkey Trots

Before the roads become covered in snow, now is the time to shake your tail feathers and take part in one–or many–Iowa Turkey Trots.

Nov. 19: Muscatine Turkey Trot 


Looking for a fun way to get your Thanksgiving turkey for free? At the Muscatine Turkey Trot, guests can test their luck and hopefully win their bird just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. This three-mile-long Iowa Turkey Trot makes things interesting by letting guests predict their run/walk time for the chance to win their turkey at the award ceremony. 


3-mile run/walk, 10:30 a.m. start; 1-mile run/walk (age 14 and under), 10 a.m. start.

Registration will take place on the day of the trot from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. prior to the races, so be sure to get there early.

Nov. 24: Des Moines Turkey Trot

Des Moines

Join in the festive fun and participate in Iowa’s largest Thanksgiving Day tradition by attending the Des Moines Turkey Trot. Named one of the best in the country, be sure to spend your holiday in Downtown Des Moines for this extraordinary Iowa Turkey Trot. More like a tour of Des Moines, the course features the Historic East Village, views from above the Des Moines River and the most iconic panorama of downtown Des Moines. Plus, you also can’t miss out on a complimentary knit hat and ceramic mug, plenty of turkey day photo opportunities, and even pie and eggnog contests.


5K and 5-mile run/walk, 9 a.m. start; tot trot, 10:30 a.m. start

Sign up online before Nov. 21 when registration ends.

Cedar Rapids Turkey Trot

Nov. 24: Cedar Rapids Turkey Trot

Cedar Rapids

Race to Cedar Rapids for the 8th annual Cedar Rapids Turkey Trot. Beginning at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, guests can pick up their packets and get some stretching in before the big 5K at 8:30 a.m. You can also run for a cause because this Iowa Turkey Trot also gives back to the community by supporting Best Buddies, the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of those with disabilities. Not to mention, your efforts will be rewarded with locally made and beloved Donutland doigjnuts to savor at the finish line.


5K run/walk, 8:30 a.m. start; kids dash, 8:15 a.m. start

Sign up online before Nov. 22 when registration ends.

Nov. 24: Mount Pleasant Turkey Trot

Mount Pleasant

Prepare to run now and gobble later thanks to the Mount Pleasant Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. The tradition of this festive race continues to let friends and family get active before the feast of all feasts. With a slogan like ‘run the race before you stuff your face’, guests can expect plenty of amusing activities as well as exercise at this Iowa turkey trot. From pie decorating and face painting to bounce houses, there is plenty of family-friendly fun to experience.


5K and 1-mile run/walk, 9 a.m. start.

Online registration is open until the day of the race. Day-of registration will take place at the REC Center at 8 a.m.

Friends of Aaron Michael Turkey Trot

Nov. 24: Friends of Aaron Michael Turkey Trot

Des Moines

Get ready for the best leg day ever, and even though it’s Thanksgiving, this Iowa Turkey Trot won’t just have you dashing for drumsticks. At the 11th annual Friends of Aaron Michael Turkey Trot, guests can challenge themselves to a 5K run/walk to get into the spirit of some family-friendly celebration in honor of Turkey Day. What makes this race extra special is that it serves as a remembrance for Aaron Michael and continues to support the SHINE program at IA Methodist, which helps families facing the death of an infant.


5K run/walk, 9 a.m. start

Online registration is open until Nov. 22. Day-of registration will also be available at 8 a.m.

Nov. 24: Cedar Falls Turkey Trot

Cedar Falls

You’ve got to run like a beast before you can fully enjoy your Thanksgiving feast this year at the Cedar Falls Turkey Trot. So be sure to gather your flock and tackle this tradition with your family and friends before the big meal. Starting on the south side of Big Woods, this 5K Iowa Turkey Trot will lead guests off the beaten path through prairie grass and around a glistening lake. Toward the end of the route, make sure to keep an eye out for a turkey. A few lucky racers have the chance to carry a bird across the finish line to take home for Thanksgiving dinner. Either way, every runner can anticipate mini pies from Try Pie after the race.


5K and 1-mile run/walk, 8:30 a.m. start; kids dash, 8:15 a.m. start

Online registration ends the day of the race at 7 a.m.

Nov. 26: Stuffed Turkey Endurance Races


As the name suggests, this Iowa Turkey Trot gives guests the perfect opportunity to burn off some of those Thanksgiving calories. The races range from 10 miles to a mentally and physically fierce 100-miler for those who are more experienced. But there’s no need to worry; the Jester Park Equestrian Center has plenty of indoor room for you to keep warm and cozy when stopping in to warm up every 10 miles. In addition, there will also be lots of hot dogs, brats, pizza, doughnuts and bagels to keep your batteries charged.


10-mile run, 8 a.m. start; 30-mile run, 1 p.m. start; 50-mile run, 5 p.m. start; 100-mile run, 6 a.m. start

Sign up online anytime before Nov. 26 when registration ends. Day-of race entries are also accepted.

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