Turkey Chasers – Thanksgiving Day Races

IMG_1414 (1)Every Thanksgiving morning my family has a tradition of running our local race. From the little research I’ve done, it looks to be part of the holiday for a lot of people. In fact the oldest road race in the US is the Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot, started in 1896 (followed by The Boston Marathon). I feel like there are a lot reasons people enjoy the tradition it’s a great way to get outside, be with those closest to you, and get a little exercise (plus it makes space for that extra pie I always end up eating!)

What I didn’t realize is how many races go off in New England on Turkey day, there are 37 races just in Massachusetts! In the other New England states there are quite a few more: 4 in Maine4 in Rhode Island, 7 in Vermont14 in New Hampshire, and 16 in Connecticut. If my math is right, that makes 82 races in New England just in one day! I wonder what the number is for the whole country? If New England is like the rest of the US, it’s got to be one of the busiest racing days of the year, if not the busiest. Consider the number of races going off at about the same time, you would think people would have gotten a little more original with the names, but ‘Turkey Trot’ is the most common with noteworthy exceptions. I just think it’d add to the fun to have different names; The Turkey Chaser, Cranberry Gobbler, or maybe (ironically) The Thankful Turkey? Here are a few of my favorite New England named races: The Wobble n Gobble in Franconia, NH,  The Great Turkey Escape in Redding, CT, and the Pilgrim Trot in Provincetown, MA.

5,000 meters (or 5K ≈ 3.1 miles) appears to be the most common distance, from just looking over the races. It’s a good distance, especially if you are mainly concerned with finishing it. I would suggest trying to do some training before the race; it will make it a lot easier and more enjoyable race day, the route I usually try to go. If you do come to race day without having had the time to prepare, it is best to pace yourself and slow down when needed. If you do a race with your friends and family, trying not to get the running speed above what you can comfortably do while talking. Thanksgiving Day races are a lot like the holiday itself a great time to spend with those closest to you. Happy Thanksgiving!

(If you are in the New England area and would like to do some running on the last Thursday in November, I would encourage you to click on one of the State links to find a race near you!)