Before the carving of the turkey, many will tackle the one and only Thanksgiving turkey trot. According to a report from RunSignup, 756,894 people participated in 730 turkey trots in 2022. The turkey trot is one of the most popular races in America and is older than the Boston Marathon.

All the trotting started in Buffalo, New York, in 1896 by the YMCA. The first race began as an 8-kilometer footrace with just six competitors. The race in Buffalo is now capped at 14,000 competitors coming from different countries to celebrate the American holiday.

Runners pose before the 1911 race

Currently, the YMCA Turkey Trot is in its 123rd year and is the longest consecutively run race globally. The turkey trot has made Thanksgiving the most popular running day in the United States.

Turkey trots have become a popular pre-feast tradition for both runners and non-runners. The inclusivity of this tradition is arguably what might have led to its popularity among many families.

Thanksgiving’s focus on thanks also comes through during the turkey trot. Many charities sponsor the event to raise support for those in need during the winter, which poses many challenges for individuals, including those in food deserts, poverty, and homelessness.

Notably, the first turkey trot was designed to bring people together, fostering gratitude and promoting well-being. The charity aspect of the race encourages participants to approach the turkey trot as a way to express gratitude and give back to others.

Turkey Trot

As we reflect on the enduring tradition of the Thanksgiving turkey trot, it resonates with the spirit of Track Girlz and our commitment to fostering a sense of community through running. Just as the trot brings together diverse participants to celebrate Thanksgiving, Track Girlz emphasizes inclusivity and empowerment through the joy of running.

As you lace up your running shoes for the turkey trot, remember the shared enthusiasm that unites runners across the nation and embodies the values cherished by Track Girlz. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a first-time trotter, the Thanksgiving turkey trot is a symbol of unity, gratitude, and the joy of coming together to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season. Let the trotting begin, as families, friends, and strangers alike join the nationwide tradition of hitting the pavement before indulging in the Thanksgiving feast.