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Races and events

Grateful for the gobble: in praise of the turkey trot

A male runner poses with a medal in front of a giant inflatable turkey that is wearing a sign that says “Tom.”
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A merica’s oldest organized foot race has been running for nearly 124 years. This Thanksgiving, enjoy time with close family and find a turkey trot near you.

What is a turkey trot?

Have you ever seen a turkey trot? It’s no ostrich — the celebrated Thanksgiving bird has a stride that’s more of a wobble than a run. But we’re not here to discuss fowl running technique. (At Brooks, we believe there’s not a wrong way to run.)

No, we’re talking about the popular annual race that happens all over the U.S. around the Thanksgiving holiday: the turkey trot.

The holiday race began in New York in 1896. That first year, six runners ran an 8-km cross country race on dirt roads through downtown Buffalo. Year after year, runner participation increased in the original turkey trot, and other races began popping up for Thanksgiving all over the east coast. As running grew in popularity, so did the number of turkey trots across the country.

Over time, competitors began to dress up at the turkey trot in Buffalo. Runners wore everything from turkey costumes and superhero gear to banana suits, and the fun trend stuck.

Turkey trots are also sometimes known as Thanksgiving 5ks, but each event has its own way of doing things. Some trots include shorter or longer distances, different age groups, relays, and more. But no matter the distance, November running in the U.S. is chilly running. Getting out in the cold can be tricky, so layer up and take note of some cold-weather running tips.

A group of five runners, all with bib numbers, pose together after a race.
A detail photo of a runner sporting Thanksgiving-themed socks while standing on gold fallen leaves.

Train for your trot

Getting ready for a race is like prepping your Thanksgiving meal — if you don’t have a proper plan in place, your day could turn from fun to folly in a hurry. Check out one of our race training plans created by Brooks Beasts coach Danny Mackey. Thanksgiving is coming up quickly. If race registrations have closed, use these plans to train and race on your own — even if it’s not on Thanksgiving day.

If you need some gobble-y good apparel, don’t miss our Turkey Trot Collection. Be sure to explore our Shoe Finder and Bra Finder to find the right gear for you.