More than 7,000 people from up to 36 states are expected to run and walk in the 68th Troy Turkey Trot come Thanksgiving Day.
The Troy Turkey Trot is a Capital Region Thanksgiving Day tradition. It is the 64th oldest road race in the world and the 12th oldest in the nation.
Joe Nash, a librarian at the Colonie library, has been in each Trot held the last 40 years. “When you’re running with 4,000 or 5,000 people, the wave just carries you along, and it’s kind of fun. I mean, I think if you’re in reasonably good shape you could make three miles. I wouldn’t try the long one if you’re not a runner, but... it’s just a fun day in Troy, a lot of families out, there’s a kids run, all kinds of events, there’s literally 10,000 people down in downtown Troy that day. It’s like a festival atmosphere.”
Troy Deputy Mayor Peter Ryan agrees and adds the Trot “keeps getting better and better." “The last two or three years we’ve really stepped it up and we’ve increased the runnership. We have a 5k, a 10k, we have a one mile walk. It’s our signature recreational event, and quite frankly, the nicest Turkey Trot in the area.”
Troy Turkey Trot Event Director George Regan: “We will be having a costume contest for the 5k, and there’ll be prizes, 1st, 2nd and 3rd in two categories, non-traditional and traditional costume.”
Tracey Martin is associate director of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. “The Regional Food Bank has been involved with the Troy Turkey Trot for the past three or four years and it’s been an amazing partnership. We are the designated regional charity for the event, so when people sign up online, to register for the race, they have the option of making a donation at that time.”
There’s also a local charity, which this year is Joseph’s House Shelter, which provides services to about a thousand men, women and children in Troy each year. Kevin O’Connor is Executive Director. “About 100 years ago, Troy had a mayor, Connie Burns, and he had a slogan ‘All for Troy, Troy for all,’ and I think that’s what the Turkey Trot represents to all of us. It’s a great event, pulling everyone together to have fun on Thanksgiving, but it also gives back to the community.”
Martin says there are volunteer opportunities for people on Thanksgiving morning and during the week leading up to it. “There are those volunteer shifts the week before Thanksgiving – a lot of people wanna help but may be traveling on Thanksgiving or have to cook and can’t be there at 7 o’clock in the morning but still wanna help. They can assist with things like assembling packets for the runners and affixing the stickers to the bibs and handing out those packets at various times. So there are lots of ways and times for people to get involved.”
- Volunteers can sign up online- runners can too – right HERE!