In Dallas, Texas the three biggest Thanksgiving traditions consist of the meal itself, watching the Cowboys play, and running a 5K, or as it’s more traditionally known as, the Turkey Trot. That’s because an estimated 40,000 runners will be hitting the Dallas streets on Thanksgiving Day, participating in the 46th annual YMCA sponsored event. But Dallas is an anomaly, being the biggest trot in the nation, and there are 100’s more Turkey Trots across the country, ranging from a handful of participants to street closing crowds. And while they all vary on the amount of costumes, prizes, and even distances (going as far up as full marathons); they all share some common values that keep you coming back for more. And if you’re like the Buffalo Turkey Trot, those values enable you to celebrate your 118th annual race. So to get you off the couch, set your appetite, and ramp up your metabolism; here are some other reasons and resources to check out a Turkey Trot near you.
You Can Burn Some Thanksgiving Calories
You probably won’t come to a positive ratio on your calorie count, with the average Americans eating 2,500 – 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day*, but it does help balance things out. Most races take place well before the big meal, which gives you plenty of time to sit on the couch in the afternoon. And by giving your metabolism a kick-start before the feast, you stand a better chance digesting that 3rd serving of mashed potatoes.
Running for a Good Cause
Not only is healthy lifestyle enough of a good cause, but most Turkey Trots are a fundraiser event hosted by various non-profits, typically a YMCA. And as Kathy Romanowski, press specialist for the YMCA Buffalo Turkey Trot says, “the proceeds from this event benefit the YMCA’s financial assistance program, which is something a lot of people don’t know.” That means in Buffalo, the proceeds are going to those YMCA members that never get turned away, but can’t always afford the monthly fees. For your local Turkey Trot, your proceeds could be going towards warm clothes, canned food, or a special cause unique to your area. Use the directory at the bottom of the article to get more information on your local venue.
A Thanksgiving Tradition
Sarah Byrom of the Dallas Turkey Trot (celebrating 40,000 runners), and Kathy Romanowski of the Buffalo Turkey Trot (celebrating its 118th race), both agree on why the Turkey Trot is able to get such big numbers and be so long lasting, and it’s not aggressive marketing or big purses; it’s tradition, simple as that. “It’s just grown organically,” Sarah had to say about the 40,000 runners in Dallas, “people liked it, came back the next year, and then it’s just grew with the community.” And it makes sense, it’s one of the few times of year when the whole family gets together. Or as Kathy Romanowski says, “many people reunite on the race course; family, college friends, etc. It’s the place to be on Thanksgiving morning here in Buffalo.”
Turkey Trot Directory
Below is a directory so you can find a Turkey Trot near you. The best time to start a tradition was 20 years ago, but the second best time is now. The Turkey Trot is an event any age or ability level will enjoy, which Sarah Byrom addressed in her last words to motivate potential runners, “You’re going to have a great time, whether you’re running or walking, it’s just fun to be a part of all the festivities.” So start a new longstanding tradition in your family on Turkey Day, a tradition that will get you moving, get you outside, and will bring everyone together on race day.
Find a Turkey Trot close to you: Turkey Trot Directory