- For the early 20th-century dance step, see turkey trot (dance).
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A turkey trot is a fun run or footrace, usually of the long-distance variety, that is held on or around Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Americans anticipate indulgent Thanksgiving feasts and run in turkey trots to burn off calories before the big meal. Turkey trots are also held in the United Kingdom, usually shortly before or after Christmas Day.
In many parts of the United States, turkey trots are as associated with Thanksgiving tradition as the meal itself. Many courses used for these Thanksgiving events are run at major certified USA Track and Field road race distances between 5,000 and 42,195 meters (although no races, as of 2012, use the full marathon length). Some organizations hold their turkey trots the week prior to Thanksgiving in order to provide festive holiday meals to homeless and low-income families in their community. Turkey trots range in size from just a few dozen runners to tens of thousands. Most turkey trots benefit local charities. First prize for winning turkey trots is often an actual frozen turkey that the winner can use for his or her family's Thanksgiving feast.
Notable Thanksgiving Day Races include...
- the Troy Turkey Trot began in 1916 with six runners and has grown into one of the largest and oldest turkey trots in the U.S.
- the Buffalo Turkey Trot, the oldest continually running public footrace (established in 1896) in the United States;
- the Dallas Turkey Trot, with more than 25,000 racers annually;
- the Manchester Road Race held in Manchester, Connecticut;
- the Feaster Five Road Race in Andover, Massachusetts;
- the Cincinnati Turkey Trot in Cincinnati, Ohio;
- the Berwick Run for the Diamonds, a nine mile race first run in 1908 in Berwick, Pennsylvania.
- the Concord Turkey Trot in Historic Concord, Massachusetts;
- the Dana Point Turkey Trot, in Dana Point, California
- the Run to Feed the Hungry, in Sacramento, California, was started in 1994 and attracts over 27,000 runners annually.
- the Ohio River Road Runners Club Turkey Trot, In 2013 it will be the 35th annual Turkey Trot to take place in the suburbs of Dayton, OH;
- the Atlanta Marathon was historically run on Thanksgiving from 1963 to 2009, making it the longest (in terms of distance) turkey trots in the United States. It has since moved its date away from the Thanksgiving holiday.
- the Plymouth Turkey Trot in Historic Plymouth, Massachusetts as part of America's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration;
- the Cuero, Texas Turkey Trot, which features a unique twist on the tradition in which the participants are all actual domestic turkeys.