If you're looking for a way to prevent the inevitable guilt you'll feel after stuffing your face on Thanksgiving, then listen up.

The solution, my friends, is by running a 5K that morning. You'll feel so pumped after your exercise in the brisk, Colorado air that you'll be able to eat anything you want guilt-free.

I'm talking about the 22nd Annual Turkey Trot, hosted by the North Colorado Medical Foundation (NCMC) and the CardioVascular Institute of North Colorado at NCMC.

The event will take place at 9 a.m. on Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving morning) at Altitude Running in Greeley.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 17 and under. Walk-in registration is available, but be sure to snag your tickets by Friday, November 22 to avoid price increases and ensure that you get a t-shirt.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at NCMC, which helps patients recover from their respective cardiac and pulmonary events.

"These patients are coming in...a pretty vulnerable spot," said Heather Schminke, the race director for this year's Turkey Trot. "The funds really go to help people who might not be able to afford our program."

The program uses a variety of rehabilitation methods, including exercise and diet adjustments, to help these patients learn to function again in their daily lives.

While the patients themselves are not always able to participate, the NCMC staff is grateful that so many Northern Coloradoans partake in the Turkey Trot to help their cause.

The money raised from the event is often able to help up to 60 patients a year.

"It's a win-win for everybody," said Allison Bruce Miller, the Development Program Director for NCMC. "The runners are getting up and getting some exercise and our patients are benefiting."

Those who register early online can pick up their race packets at NCMC on Tuesday, November 26 and Wednesday, November 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

While the race itself begins at 9 a.m. (followed by a 2K for kids beginning at 9:15 a.m.), Schminke recommends arriving at Altitude Running by 8:30 a.m. to make sure you are prepared.

Get a head start on your New Year's fitness resolutions and "trot" for a cause this Thanksgiving.

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