This year marks Tamarac’s 40th annual Turkey Trot. Held on Thanksgiving (which falls on November 26 this year), this annual tradition draws many participants from around the city and the world.
Registration opened on September 1 and closes on November 25, the day before the race. Due to the pandemic, this year’s Turkey Trot is a “virtual” 5k. Registration begins at $19.50 (a $15.00 Race Fee + a $4.50 Signup Fee).
The City is providing participants with RaceJoy as part of the official race experience for the 40th Annual Tamarac Turkey Trot Virtual 5K. Be sure to download the RaceJoy mobile app in advance to ensure that the app is properly set up on your phone, and remember that you can invite your friends and family to track you and cheer you on!
According to the New York Times, more than a million people across the country were expected to participate in various Turkey Trots in 2018. That year, there were around 1,000 races taking place; this makes it the most popular day of the year to run.
The Interesting History of This 125-Year-Old Tradition
Yes, you read that right. According to the Buffalo, New York YMCA, the Turkey Trot began in Buffalo, New York, back in 1896. One of six runners competing in a five-mile cross-country race, Henry A. Allison, the winner, had no idea that his win would start a tradition that’s now well over a century old. At that time, participants ran on rough dirt roads; the race didn’t move to paved roads until the mid-1900s.
All ages and levels of runners participate, from first-time runners to serious competitors. Back in 1899, John Coleman of the Buffalo Team was charged with riding part of the race in a wagon; his team was disqualified.
As time went on, the tradition of dressing in costume became an integral part of the race. It’s likely that Buffalo’s race will include runners dressed not only in Thanksgiving-themed garb, but also superheroes, hockey players, fruit and more.
Back in 1907, Gus Gressel began participating and ran the race every year for almost 50 years, excluding the one year he sat out due to a leg injury. In 1916, he and his son, Ed, both participated; Ed took home first place that year.
The youngest winner of the Buffalo Turkey Trot is Anthony Diamond who, at 15 years old, won the Trot in 1944.
In 2000, three days before the trot, a record snowfall landed on Buffalo. Thanks to city leaders and snow removal crews, the streets were cleared in time for the race, something we in South Florida don’t have to worry about.
Today: 2020’s Trot Will Look a Bit Different
This year, of course, things will look a bit different. The YMCA Buffalo Niagara “realizes that the delivery of a traditional 14,000 in-person Turkey Trot will not be possible this year. Instead we plan to commemorate the YMCA Turkey Trot’s milestone 125th consecutive start with a live small-scale celebratory race in accordance with all COVID-19 Health and Safety regulations. A virtual option will also be offered to give all loyal past participants and friends the opportunity to run virtually (but together) on Thanksgiving morning.”
Tamarac and most other cities are following this same protocol. Billed as a “Virtual 5k”, runners will register online and run the race in their respective communities on Thanksgiving Day.
A portion of the registration fees will go to the United Way. You can also make an additional donation; these donations will benefit the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Tamarac and will help “provide funding for youth program grants, scholarships, park equipment and recreation events. If you would like to make a donation, please indicate the amount on the registration form.”
Register at runsignup.com
SHIRT AND MEDAL PICK-UP
E-mails will be sent out to participants when shirts and medals are ready for pick up. Pick up location: Tamarac Community Center, 8601 W. Commercial Blvd., Tamarac, FL 33351.
T-SHIRTS & FINISHER MEDALS
Runners will receive a 40th Anniversary Commemorative T-shirt. Choice of short sleeve or long sleeve. Runners will also receive a 40th Anniversary Medal.
To learn more, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/Anytime/39thAnnualTamaracTurkeyTrot.