Turkey Trots by the Numbers

Photo: Rich Cruse

Why have Turkey Trots come so far? Rich Harshbarger, CEO of Running USA, knows the answer.

“Turkey Trots are the original theme runs,” he says. “So many of these events, regardless of distance, also have ties to food banks, homeless shelters and other related charity programs that tug at heartstrings. Often, families use the holiday season to get their children involved, and family fun runs are a great outlet for that. It’s also not a bad way to burn some extra calories after a large second helping!”

Turkey Trots have been a tradition for a long time—the Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot started in 1895!—but only recently has the tradition exploded into a nation-wide happening.

Just how much has it grown? In 2013, more than 3.4 million miles were run by Americans on Thanksgiving Day. And the weather isn’t getting in the way—while California leads the way in Turkey Trot participation, cold-weather states like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York aren’t far behind.

Check out some of the numbers related to Thanksgiving’s newest signature staple.

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