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Feet Before Feast

Annual Turkey Trot brings community together.

Paul Thompson sees it as a perfect Thanksgiving scenario: sleep in, get the bird going, and then join hundreds of other runners for the 31st annual Turkey Trot around Del Ray.

This year's race is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 23 at 10 a.m. at Cora Kelly School, 3600 Commonwealth Ave. Thompson, the race director, said the event is both a community celebration and a chance to help those in need at Thanksgiving. Runners are urged to bring a donation of two or more non-perishable food items to the race to benefit ALIVE!, a nonprofit organization that helps over 12,000 Alexandrians annually with shelter, low-cost education and other services.

Entry fee for the event is $10, with runners ages 12-and-under for $5. T-shirts are $10, and there is day-of-event registration. Thompson encouraged runners to begin showing up as early as 8:30 a.m. for registration.

The 5-mile course brings runners down Commonwealth, around through neighborhoods, then on Mount Vernon Ave. before heading back to Cora Kelly. There is $1,000 in cash prizes to 1st, 2nd, 3rd place overall male and female, plus 1st place male and female masters. Other valuable prizes are given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place age group winners. If anyone breaks the course record — 23 minutes, 47 seconds for men, 27:28 for women — there is a $100 bonus. Visit www.pwba.org for more information about the race.

Thompson said more volunteers are needed for this year's event. Contact race officials at TurkeyTrotPWBA@comcast.net for more information.

HERE IS a list of upcoming Turkey Trot races.

Freeze Your Gizzard Cross Country 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run. 5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Gazebo at Ida Lee Park, 60 Ida Lee Drive, Leesburg. Thanksgiving-themed food prizes will be awarded to the top three males and females in the 5K. All one-mile participants will be entered in a raffle for 10 turkeys. 5K entry fee is $20 plus two cans of food to be brought to the race for Loudoun Interfaith Relief. One-mile fun run entry fee is $10 plus two cans of food.

Marine Corps Community Services' Semper Fit 5 Mile Turkey Trot. Saturday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m. at Butler Stadium, Quantico Marine Base, Quantico. This is the oldest of the races aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. Enter the whole family at a special family rate. Race for turkeys and pies, which will be awarded to overall and individual age groups. Race starts at Butler Stadium. Long sleeve commemorative shirts and refreshments for all participants. The race is limited to the first 600 applicants. Open to military and civilians. Visit www.quantico.usmc-mccs.org for details.

Herndon Turkey Trot 5K. Saturday, Nov. 18., 4 p.m., at the Herndon Centennial Golf Course, 909 Ferndale Ave., Herndon. Race day registration 2-3:30 p.m., in the Herndon Community Center Gym, 814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon. Preregistration: $10 or $15 day of race. Win a Thanksgiving dinner, refreshments and door prizes available to all runners after race. Contact 703-787-7300 or www.herndon-va.gov for age groups and registration.

Virginia Run Turkey Trot 5K & Fun Walk. Thursday, Nov. 23, 8 a.m., at the Virginia Run Community Center, 15355 Wetherburn Court, Centreville. Open to competitive runners and runners of all abilities, the race offers short-sleeved T-shirts to all registrants, overall and age group awards in the 5K, post-race refreshments, and random prizes. All proceeds benefit "Life with Cancer," an Inova Health System non-profit program for cancer patients and their families. Registration: $20 for the 5K, $13 for the fun walk. Visit www.active.com to register.