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America's Turkey Trot Run: A Thanksgiving Tradition

on October 20, 2021

 America's Family Tradition; The Thanksgiving Turkey Trot Run

Every year, as Thanksgiving dawns, communities across America come alive with the patter of running shoes hitting the pavement. The phenomenon is known as the Turkey Trot – a Thanksgiving tradition that has woven itself into the fabric of the holiday. But how did these races start, and why do people, fondly called "turkey trotters," partake in this festive frenzy of running? Let's lace up and explore the history and significance of America's cherished Turkey Trot runs.

The Origins of Turkey Trots:

Turkey trots trace their roots back to the late 19th century. The first-ever trot is believed to have taken place in Buffalo, New York, in 1896. Since then, these runs have grown in popularity, evolving from small local events to large-scale community gatherings. Originally, the concept was simple: a morning run to energize participants for the day’s feasting ahead.

Why Run a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving?

Running a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving is more than just a prelude to indulging in a hearty meal. It’s a way for families and communities to come together, celebrate the spirit of gratitude, and embrace a healthy start to the day. Many participants view it as a form of giving thanks for their health and well-being, which they can then share with their loved ones around the Thanksgiving table.

The Point of a Turkey Trot:

The primary goal of a Turkey Trot is to promote fitness, fun, and community bonding. These events encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to participate, whether they are seasoned runners or first-time joggers. Turkey trots often support charitable causes, giving participants an additional incentive to join the race – contributing to a good cause while enjoying a healthy activity.

Popular Thanksgiving Day Runs:

There are several popular Turkey Trot races held across the United States, ranging from small local 5k runs to larger events in major cities. Some notable ones include the Revenge of the Bird Virtual Turkey Trot, the Let's Get Physical Virtual Turkey Trot, and the Top Bird Turkey Trot. These virtual turkey trots allow participants from all corners of the country to join in the festivities, making it a truly inclusive experience.


Yes, there is no age limit for participation, and children often receive a discounted registration fee. Again, the goal is to get people moving, and there is no better time for families to do it together than on holidays. With the weather cooling off, a virtual turkey trot with the family is an ideal way to spend time together outdoors while encouraging healthy habits.

Can You Walk a Turkey Trot?

Absolutely! Turkey trots welcome participants of all paces, including walkers. The emphasis is on participation, not competition. Whether you run, jog, or walk, the joy of being part of this Thanksgiving tradition remains the same. It’s about enjoying the spirit of the event and the camaraderie of fellow turkey trotters.

In conclusion, Turkey Trots have become more than just races; they are a celebration of health, gratitude, and community. As you gear up for this Thanksgiving Day, consider joining the ranks of turkey trotters across America. Embrace the tradition, enjoy the run, and relish the sense of camaraderie that fills the air. Whether you're a seasoned runner or just starting your fitness journey, there’s a place for you in the heartwarming tradition of America's Turkey Trot Run.

So, slip into your running shoes, participate in a virtual Turkey Trot, and make this Thanksgiving memorable by being a part of this cherished American tradition.

Happy trotting and happy Thanksgiving!

Want to learn training for your upcoming Turkey Trot? Check out our blog post Why You Should Start Training Now for Your Annual Turkey Trot