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Thanksgiving morning road races in Canton, Avon and Farmington

A record field of more than 500 runners take off at the start of the O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot last November in Collinsville.

For years, the Thanksgiving morning tradition for those who want to run was the Manchester Road Race. But now there are 18 other road races across Connecticut, including three in the Farmington Valley on Thanksgiving morning.

In Canton, the seventh annual O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot will be in historic Collinsville beginning at 9 a.m. In Avon, a new tradition is beginning with the first Bottoms Up 5K Turkey Trot beginning and finishing at Thompson Brook School.

And in Farmington, there is the 14th annual Malibu Fitness Thanksgiving 5K that begins at 6:45 a.m. sharp with 100 percent of proceeds being donated to several charities including programs for injured veterans and the Channel 3 Kids Camp.

The O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot begins and ends on the Farmington River Trail behind the Canton Historical Museum. A year ago, the race donated $18,300 to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. More than 500 runners showed up for the race.

This year, donations from the race will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America.

In Avon, the Bottoms Up 5K will begin and end at Thompson Brook School. The race begins at 9 a.m. The Bottoms Up organization is a public charity that helps raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as well as provide financial support for those who can’t afford their annual colonoscopy or maintenance medications associated with IBD.

Race day registration in Avon is from 7 to 8:30 a.m.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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