Turkey trot

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Man dressed as a Turkey takes part in a 10K run on Thanksgiving Day

A turkey trot is a fun run or footrace, usually of the long-distance variety, that is held on or around Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Traditionally, turkey trots are held because Americans anticipate indulgent Thanksgiving feasts and run in turkey trots to burn off calories before the big meal.[citation needed] Turkey trots are also held in the United Kingdom, usually shortly before or after Christmas Day.

In the United States, many courses used for these Thanksgiving events are run at major certified USA Track and Field road race distances between 5,000 and 42,195 meters. Some organizations hold their turkey trots the week prior to Thanksgiving in order to provide festive holiday meals to homeless and low-income families in their community.[vague] Turkey trots range in size from just a few dozen runners to tens of thousands.[citation needed] Most turkey trots benefit local charities[citation needed]. First prize for winning turkey trots is often[vague] an actual frozen turkey that the winner can use for his or her family's Thanksgiving feast.

Some turkey trots are prediction races - watches are not allowed, with prizes for finishing closest to your predicted time. Some races have prizes for costumes.

Notable races

Cuero, Texas, holds a turkey trot every November where hundreds of turkeys parade through the town (1912).
  • the Austin Turkey Trot is the largest 5 mile race in Texas, and one of the largest Turkey Trots with over 20,000 racers;
  • the Berwick Run for the Diamonds, a nine-mile race first run in 1908 in Berwick, Pennsylvania;
  • the Buffalo Turkey Trot, the oldest continually running public footrace (established in 1896) in the United States;
  • the Concord Turkey Trot in Historic Concord, Massachusetts;
  • the Cuero, Texas Turkey Trot, which features a unique twist on the tradition in which the participants are all actual domestic turkeys. This event is now held on the second weekend of October (coincidentally the same weekend as Canadian Thanksgiving).
  • the Dallas Turkey Trot, with more than 25,000 racers annually;
  • the Dana Point Turkey Trot was established in 1977, attracting over 18,000 people to the Dana Point Harbor in Southern California, and has donated over $500,000 to local charities.[1]
  • the Feaster Five Road Race in Andover, Massachusetts;
  • the Hyde Park Pilgrim Run in Kansas City, MO.
  • the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest 5K Fun Run, held on Canadian Thanksgiving in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada;
  • the Manchester Road Race held in Manchester, Connecticut;
  • the Mile High United Way Turkey Trot, a family running tradition held on Thanksgiving Day in Denver's Washington Park for more than four decades.[2]
  • the Plymouth Turkey Trot in Historic Plymouth, Massachusetts as part of America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration;
  • the Run to Feed the Hungry race, in Sacramento, California, was started in 1994 and attracts over 27,000 runners annually.
  • the San Francisco Turkey Trot, takes place in Golden Gate Park on Thanksgiving Day.
  • the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot is one of the largest Thanksgiving Day race with over 25,000 participants;
  • the Smoke the Turkey Trot occurs annually on Thanksgiving morning in Sylvania, OH. The 5k race winds through the Saint James Wood neighborhood and regularly attracts over two thousand participants. Many participants adorn costumes or wear Michigan/Ohio State colors (the OSU/UM football game is generally played on the fourth Saturday in November).
  • the Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot takes places every year in coordination with the city of Clearwater, Florida and the West Florida Y Runner's Club. Annual attendance for this event reaches over 17,000 registered racers.
  • the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon in Atlanta is the nation's largest half marathon run on Thanksgiving morning.[3] Between 1981 and 2009, the event also coincided with the Atlanta Marathon, making it the longest distance for a turkey trot in the United States.[4]
  • the Troy Turkey Trot began in 1916 with six runners and has grown into one of the largest and oldest turkey trots in the U.S.

See also


  1. ^ "Dana Point Turkey Trot – Run the Race Before You Stuff Your Face!". www.turkeytrot.com. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  2. ^ "Mile High United Way Turkey Trot | Mile High United Way". www.unitedwaydenver.org. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  3. ^ "11,000 to participate in Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, nation's largest". Northside Neighbor. November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  4. ^ Larkin, Duncan (November 24, 2010). "No More Thanksgiving Marathon For Atlanta". Competitor. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
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