- The Washington Times - Monday, November 24, 2008

Don’t be surprised if your local roads are closed Thursday morning as you race around town preparing for Thanksgiving.

Actually, you should be running, not driving, on this day of turkey trots.

There are many reasons to give thanks, the economy not being one of them. But most of these Thanksgiving runs give much-needed money and/or food to the needy. Besides, it is never a bad idea to burn a few hundred calories before consuming a few thousand later in the day.

Here is a sampling of some of the more established Thanksgiving Day races in the D.C. area:

The Turkey Trot 5 Miler starts at 10 a.m. at Cora Kelly School in Alexandria (Information: 703/933-0520 ext. 203). The YMCABethesda-Chevy Chase Turkey Chase 10K starts at the YMCA at 8:30 a.m. in Bethesda (Information: 301/440-1854).

Gonzaga College High School is using the holiday as a service project to raise money for the less fortunate, so check out the Gonzaga Thanksgiving Classic 10K at 8 a.m. at Belle Haven Park in Alexandria (Information: 703/408-6903).

In the District, it’s the seventh year of the Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger, a 5K that begins at 8:30 a.m. in West Potomac Park. Join D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty for this event, which is sponsored by So Others May Eat (Information: 202/797-8806 ext. 1093).

In Columbia, Md., the Howard County Striders cook up their HCS Turkey Trot Prediction 10K at the Jeffers Hill Neighborhood Center. Runners start at whatever time they need to finish as close to 11 a.m. as possible (Information: 410/997-7544).

In Arlington, tour the scenic bicycle path by signing up for the Arlington Turkey Trot 5K at 8 a.m. in Lyon Park (Information: 703/527-0420).

Down south is the Potter Homes YMCA Turkey Trot 5K at 9:05 a.m. in Fredericksburg, Va. (Information: (540/371-9622 ext. 1022).

And head west for the Virginia Run Turkey Trot 5K at 8 a.m. at the Virginia Run Community Center in Centreville.

Or benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters by running the 11th annual Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department’s Thanksgiving Day 5K at 8:30 a.m. at Sherando High School in Stephens City, Va. (Information: 540/665-5678).

After Thanksgiving, relieve the bloat with Montgomery County Road Runners’ Turkey Burnoff 10M and 5M on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg (Information: 301/353-0200).

- Olympic marathoner and American half-marathon record holder Ryan Hall has committed to running the Boston Marathon on April 20. A win by Hall would mark the first by an American man since Greg Meyer in 1983.

“The Boston Marathon is the granddaddy of the world marathon majors. To win here would mean as much to me as winning any marathon in the world, including the Olympic Games,” Hall said. “To win in Boston would show the world that American distance running is indeed back to the days of Salazar, Beardsley, and Rodgers. I hope that I can contribute to bringing American marathoning back to the forefront.”

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