A Brief History of the Turkey Trot

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving Day has become the most popular day for running in the U.S. with the Fourth of July coming in second and New Years Day in close behind in third.

According to Running USA, 870,000 people ran in a Turkey Trot race last year (2013).

Whether you’re running with your family and just trying to burn a few extra calories a Turkey Trot is a great way to begin your day of thanks. Here are a few facts about the iconic Turkey Day race.

Quick Facts

  • Buffalo, New York claims to be the first city to ever host a Turkey Trot.
  • According to the Washington Post, the first race was held in 1896, making it older than the Boston marathon.
  • The first Turkey Trot was hosted by the YMCA.
  • The first woman to run the Buffalo race was Mary Ann Bolles, in 1972.
  • The largest Thanksgiving Day race is held in Sacramento, California. This 5K/10K race had 22,546 finishers in 2012, according to Running USA.

This year I’m running my first Thanksgiving Day race in Portland, Oregon—a four-mile race that begins at the Oregon Zoo.

Are you running a Turkey Trot? Leave a comment and tell me what city you’ll be running in!


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