Run, walk or trot off a few of those Thanksgiving calories while having fun with family and friends

By Stephanie Emma Pfeffer
November 25, 2019 04:45 PM
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Thanksgiving is the most popular running day of the year, according to Running USA. Last year more than 1.17 million people registered for a Turkey Trot around the Thanksgiving holiday. The tradition is believed to have started in 1896 in Buffalo, New York, with Y.M.C.A. Buffalo Niagara’s Turkey Trot —  today the 8K attracts more than 14,000 runners and calls itself the “oldest consecutively run footrace in North America.”

While running a few miles won’t do much to offset the 2,000+ calories you’re likely to consume on Thanksgiving, there are plenty of other reasons to lace up your sneakers and get moving with family and friends.

  1. It’s one of those rare unicorn events that everyone can actually do together, whether you run, walk or trot. Win points with your Ironman father-in-law. Or just use it an excuse to be better at something (anything!) than your cousin.
  2. On the other hand, if you get stressed by family dynamics, a Turkey Trot can also be a great excuse to escape. (Self-care, hello?!?!?)
  3. Most races have shorter distances for kids, everything from a 1-miler to a 500-meter dash — often with mini-medals, chocolate lollipops or hot apple cider at the finish.
  4. You can probably get out of some holiday-related jobs/duties/tasks — peeling potatoes, putting the leaf in the dining room table, getting folding chairs from your uncle’s garage — because you will be at the race (and going to/coming from/showering after!).
  5. If you’re traveling to that same relative’s house for the fifth year in a row, consider finding a race in a nearby town (Active.com has a comprehensive list); a new environment can keep things interesting.
  6. Make fun of the (probably ugly) shirt that will go straight into your pajama drawer because it features the face of a massive cartoon turkey or the name of a local pub. (Why are Turkey Trot race shirts so universally bad?)
  7. Feel morally superior to everyone else when you post your Turkey Trot pic on social media or feel less lazy (and avoid FOMO) when everyone else posts theirs.
  8. Enjoy an extra helping of stuffing.
  9. If you do post a pic, use #WillTrotForBeer and tag @MichelobULTRA — until December 1 the brand will donate $1 per pic (up to $10,000) to AmpleHarvest.org, a non-profit aiming to end food waste and hunger.
  10. Appease guilt on Friday when you don’t work out because you’re still full/busy shopping/watching Christmas movies/eating another slice of pie.

Can’t get to a turkey trot IRL? Do it virtually on your own time and at your own pace with the help of Strava through NYRR’s Virtual Turkey Trot 5K until December 1.  Register here.

And if it’s just not going to happen — well, there’s always a Santa Run.

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