Turkey trot

Type of seasonal running event
Man dressed as a turkey takes part in a 10K run on Thanksgiving Day

Turkey trots are footraces, usually of the long-distance variety, held on or around Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The name is derived from the use of turkey as a common centerpiece of the Thanksgiving dinner. A few races in the United Kingdom during the Christmas period are described as turkey trots (turkey is traditionally eaten at Christmas there).[1] In the United States, many courses used for these Thanksgiving events are run at a certified USA Track & Field road race distances between 5Ks and a half marathon; others are informal fun runs between 1.0 mile (1.6 km) and 5 km. The fun runs are often run as charity benefits and feature runners in costumes, particularly as turkeys. The Atlanta Marathon, which ran on Thanksgiving from 1981 to 2009, was the only full 26.2-mile (42.2 km) marathon to run on the holiday. It has been replaced by a shorter race, the Peachtree Road Race. The oldest documented turkey trot, a still-ongoing annual event in Buffalo, New York, dates to 1896.[2]

Notable races

Cuero, Texas, holds a turkey trot every November where hundreds of turkeys parade through the town (1912).
Turkey trots
Name Location Inaugural race Distance Notes
American Turkey Tradition (various, 27 locations) (various) A series of races in multiple cities;[3][4] claims to be the world's largest Thanksgiving running festival and listed 27 races across 12 US states in 2019.[5]
Berwick Run for the Diamonds Berwick, Pennsylvania 1908 9 miles (14 km) Name changed from Berwick Marathon in the early 1980s.[6]
Buffalo Turkey Trot Buffalo, New York 1896 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) The oldest continually running public footrace (established in 1896) in the United States.[7] 14,000 runners annually.[8]
Concord Turkey Trot Concord, Massachusetts
Cuero Texas Turkey Trot Cuero, Texas 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).
Dallas Turkey Trot Dallas, Texas 1940s 8 miles (13 km) More than 25,000 racers annually.
Dana Point Turkey Trot Dana Point, California 1977 Attracts over 18,000 people to the Dana Point Harbor in Southern California, and has donated over $500,000 to local charities.[9]
Feaster Five Road Race Andover, Massachusetts 1988 5 miles (8.0 km)
Hyde Park Pilgrim Run Kansas City, Missouri
Invesco QQQ Half Marathon Atlanta, Georgia Was the nation's largest half marathon run on Thanksgiving morning, originally a marathon and half marathon from 1981 to 2009, but was raced only as a half from 2010-19. The race was cancelled in May 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that moved the Peachtree Road Race to the Thanksgiving date.[10] 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.[11]
Kitchener–Waterloo_Oktoberfest 5K Fun Run Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) Held on Canadian Thanksgiving
Manchester Road Race Manchester, Connecticut 1927 4.748 miles (7.641 km)
Mile High United Way Turkey Trot Denver, Colorado Held on Thanksgiving Day in Washington Park for over four decades.[12]
Plymouth Turkey Trot Plymouth, Massachusetts Part of America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration
Run to Feed the Hungry race Sacramento, California 1994 Attracts over 27,000 runners annually.
San Francisco Turkey Trot San Francisco, California Takes place in Golden Gate Park on Thanksgiving Day.
Schuylkill Navy Run Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1899 5+5/8 mi Put on by Boathouse Row in Philadelphia.
Silicon Valley Turkey Trot San Jose, California 2004 5km, 10 km Has over 25,000 participants.
Smoke the Turkey Trot Sylvania, Ohio 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) Goes through Saint James Wood neighborhood and regularly has over 2,000 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).
Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot Clearwater, Florida Annual attendance for this event reaches over 17,000 registered racers.
ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot Austin, Texas 1990 5 miles (8.0 km) 20,000 people normally participate[13]
Troy Turkey Trot Troy, New York 1916 5km, 10km, 1 mile[14] There were six runners in the inaugural race, but it is now one of the largest and oldest turkey trots in the United States.


  1. ^ "Turkey Trot Half Marathon". www.turkeytrot.org.uk. December 2020. The Turkey Trot is the primary fundraising activity for the 1st Keyworth Scout Group.
  2. ^ "The YMCA Buffalo Turkey Trot". Ymcabuffaloniagara.org. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  3. ^ Pendleton, Marc. "ORRRC Turkey Trot an annual event for area runners and families". dayton-daily-news. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  4. ^ Register, Des Moines. "Things to do this holiday season in Des Moines (and central Iowa)". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  5. ^ "Participating Events". American Turkey Tradition. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  6. ^ "untitled". arrs.run. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  7. ^ Graham, Tim (November 24, 2011). Pollow takes third consecutive Turkey Trot amid the goofballs. The Buffalo News. Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  8. ^ Runners fill Turkey Trot registration Archived November 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. WIVB-TV (November 13, 2012). Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  9. ^ "Dana Point Turkey Trot – Run the Race Before You Stuff Your Face!". www.turkeytrot.com. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  10. ^ "11,000 to participate in Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, nation's largest". Northside Neighbor. November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  11. ^ Larkin, Duncan (November 24, 2010). "No More Thanksgiving Marathon For Atlanta". Competitor. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  12. ^ "Mile High United Way Turkey Trot | Mile High United Way". www.unitedwaydenver.org. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  13. ^ "Turkey Trot goes virtual to keep 30-year tradition alive". kvue.com. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  14. ^ Schneider, H. Rose (2023-11-12). "Troy Turkey Trot 5K new race route will cross Green Island Bridge". Times Union. Retrieved 2023-11-22.
  • v
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History and
United States
  • Novant Health (Charlotte)
  • Chicago
  • America's (Detroit)
  • Oktoberfest (Kitchener-Waterloo)
  • Hollywood Christmas (Los Angeles)
  • Macy's (New York City)
  • 6abc-Dunkin' Donuts (Philadelphia)
  • Celebrate the Season (Pittsburgh)
  • America's Hometown (Plymouth)
Turkey trots