Thanksgiving has more or less looked the same for decades…centuries even. Football was one of the only modern updates to the recipe. Turkey, cranberries, touchdown, nap, rinse, repeat. But the turkey trot has changed that. Finally. Thankfully!
Base image from Daniel Parks via Flickr
The popularity has exploded beyond a few local running clubs and now the most novice and newbie runners grace starting lines across the country. This is a trend we love even more than seconds of pumpkin pie. This year there are more than 1300 races planned throughout the U.S., all scheduled between November 1 and Thanksgiving Day. That means millions of runners — whether for their first or hundredth time — will get up off the couch and move their bodies.
If you’re one of the newbs, know that you are welcomed with open arms. Enjoy a strong start with these race day tips:
Check the Weather. Unless you’re in So-Cal or Florida, the weather can be impressively temperamental during November. You could be facing an unseasonably warm race or one that’s painfully bitter cold.
Dress in Layers. Because of the tricky weather, you definitely want to dress in layers. Wear a moisture-wicking tank or tee under a hoodie or long-sleeve tee, something you can tie around your waist when the race heats up.
Take a Donation! Like most races, turkey trots are traditionally used as a food bank donation drive. Some put your entry fee toward the donation, some encourage cash donations at the gate, and some simply accept canned goods and other non-perishables. It’s an easy way to kick-off the giving season.
Wear Good Shoes. If this is your first race — whether you do the one mile, the 5k, or go the longer distance — do not wear those dusty sneakers you bought five or so years ago. You will kill your feet and you will hurt at the finish line. It’s also not a great day to break in a new pair. Plan ahead and spend a few days in some new kicks.
Wear Your Sports Bra! You’ll put the girls through the paces at a turkey trot, so break out the big guns and wear your Enell. You’ll be more comfortable, not to mention feel more confident when your turkeys aren’t trotting this way and that down the trail.
Bring the Family. Racing may be an individual sport, but turkey trots are an ensemble! Turkey trots are extremely family friendly, so grab that crew of people sacked out at your house and get some fresh air and quality time together. Strollers, wagons, and sometimes even dogs are all more than welcome.
Take a Selfie. This is your first race and you deserve a race-day selfie to post across Facebook and Instagram like all of those other people you follow. A year from now when this first race is a distant memory, you’ll enjoy the souvenir from your first race.
Have Fun. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Sure there’s a finish line and some races are timed, but just go, enjoy the day, the energy of the scene, and cross the finish line in your own time. Whether you run, walk, or crawl, your finish line looks the same as everyone else. Cross it with pride and hopefully a smile on your sweaty face!
Do you have plans for a Turkey Trot this year?