Turkey Trots: My Take on This Thanksgiving Tradition

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Running Turkey Trot races has been a Thanksgiving tradition for many American families all across the country. Until I ran one for myself, I never understood the appeal of this tradition. Of all things, why would someone willingly wake up early on their day off to run? It wasn’t until recently that I’ve started to value getting up early some days to enjoy my mornings and exercise. I used to make fun of the types of families that run on Thanksgiving, but now I’m coming around to the idea of making a tradition out of it.

In my family, we sleep in late on Thanksgiving day, drink our coffee, and sit on the couch to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade that we didn’t wake up early enough to watch live. Growing up in a family of six where all four of us kids played travel sports, we hardly had any downtime to relax. Now that all of us are older and grown-up, we like to spend our holidays resting and enjoying the time off. 

While this is just how I spend Thanksgiving, many other families across the United States start their holiday off by running a turkey trot race. Running a race on this big holiday is a good way to balance out Thanksgiving dinner. Lots of people will go all out for these races by dressing up in turkey costumes and getting really festive by participating in these races with their friends and families.

I’ve only run one Turkey Trot in my life, but I would absolutely do it again, at least once I get back in shape. I will concede that the year I ran a Turkey Trot, despite being out of shape, I thoroughly enjoyed starting my day with some exercise to get some endorphins flowing and feeling the holiday spirit with my community. Our Turkey Trot was a 5k race, being about three miles.

At the time, I hadn’t run in a while, so I had to stop occasionally to walk, but overall it was a very fun experience. My sister, my cousin and I all dressed up in turkey costumes which included running in brown tutus and bright orange knee-high socks. The atmosphere was so cheerful and just being surrounded by other festive families and members of the community was fun in itself. 

The race I ran a few years ago was the Virginia Run Turkey Trot, which was held Thanksgiving morning in Centreville, Va. If you search online, you’ll likely be able to find a turkey trot race in your city or somewhere near you. I highly suggest running a turkey trot on Thanksgiving at least once, just to try it. I never thought I would be the type of person to run on a holiday, but I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. You don’t even have to be a big runner because I’m definitely not. It’s a lot of fun to get involved in your community and be surrounded by other cheerful and festive people, so I recommend giving it a go and trying something new.

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