Thanksgiving is traditionally a big day for runners and in the Galveston County area it’s no exception. Both islanders and mainland residents have opportunities to share some fresh air with family and friends before the turkey is cooked.

In Galveston, the downtown First Evangelical Lutheran Church is hosting its inaugural Turkey Trot run/walk on Thanksgiving Day. The event features 1-, 2- and 3-mile options, making it a fun family outing when there’s a variety of ages and abilities involved.

“We’ll all start together, and it’s going to be an out-and-back course with people at all three turnaround points to make sure everyone goes their preferred distance,” race coordinator Erin Grigsby said.

With the variable distances, families can start and finish together, even if they cover different amounts of ground in between. After the Turkey Trot, participants will be eligible for a raffle drawing.

The Turkey Trot welcomes pets and strollers as well as runners and walkers. Participants are encouraged to meet at the church’s gazebo on Winnie between 24th and 25th streets shortly before the 9 a.m. start of the Turkey Trot.

“The race is free, but everyone needs to sign a release beforehand, so allow 10 or so minutes of extra time,” Grigsby said. “I’m also encouraging people to let us know if they’re coming by going to our Facebook page, either for First Lutheran Church Galveston or Anchor Leg Coaching, just so we have an idea of how many people to prepare for.”

The Bay Area Turkey Trot is now in its ninth year, and has grown to be a family tradition for many runners. The event gets underway at 7:30 a.m. Thursday with a Kids 1K, followed by a 5K at 7:45 a.m. The race begins and ends at On The Run store on Bay Area Boulevard and winds through the wooded neighborhoods near Armand Bayou.

Registration for the Bay Area Turkey Trot is available online at Kids 1K registration is $10, and adults are $25.

Bernice Torregrossa:

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