TROY, NY — The Troy Turkey Trot is set to step off for its seventy-fifth running on Thanksgiving morning. The Trot, which began in 1916 as a means to support returning American service veterans, features the Capital Region’s sole Thanksgiving 10K, along with a 5K, Grade School Mile, and Turkey Walk. The Collar City staple celebrates fun, family, and fitness. The Trot is the nation’s twelfth and the world’s sixty-fourth oldest road race.
The event always brings family and friends together, typically drawing as many as 6,000 participants in a given year from all over the country and even the world. In celebrating the seventy-fifth running, each participating finisher will receive a medal this year. Differing from previous years, the costume contest will be judged prior to the race this year, with entrants needing to be submitted by Monday, Nov. 21. Plus, those out of town for the race can participate again virtually on the Troy Turkey Trot app and submit their recorded times online from Thanksgiving until Sunday, Nov. 27.
On Thanksgiving morning, the 10K steps off at 8 am, Grade School Mile and Turkey Walk at 9:30 am, and finally the 5K runs at 10 am
Troy Turkey Trot Event Director George Regan provided an outlook for this year’s race.
“Things are looking really good. We’re eight days out now. We’re at 4,000 more attendees…. which is a little bit ahead of last year. We’ve raised through the Trotters, through those who’ve registered, we’ve raised $11,500, plus the matching grant that Pioneer [Bank] gives us, for a grand total of $14,000, so we’re ahead in donations at this point as well, and hopefully, that’ll keep up,” Regan said.
“Right now our youngest participant in the 5K is a one-year-old. She will be in a stroller. Our oldest is 90 years old. So, we run the gambit there,” Regan noted.
According to Regan, packet and chip pickup will be a bit different this year.
“We have chip bib pickup on Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday, prior to the event. That is now at La Salle Institute,” Regan said.
“We are still conscious and concerned about Covid and we’re trying to do our best to mitigate and to separate people as much as possible, especially in any indoor settings. So, La Salle Institute allows us to do that, it’s all drive-thru, get your package and go,” Regan explained.
“We will be holding race day packet and chip pickup in the atrium on the Broadway side and that will go up to 15 minutes before each of the races,” Regan added.
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden thanked all of the city workers and volunteers for helping organize and run the event. He also noted that there will be plenty of free parking throughout the city. Plus, he also spoke about the importance of supporting the two charities involved.
“Again this year we’re supporting two charities through this race, Joseph’s House & Shelter Inc. and the Regional Foodbank of Northeastern New York,” Madden remarked.
“This is a difficult year for everybody, because [of] the effects that we feel from inflation but for the people that are served by these two great institutions, this is a particularly difficult time. So if you can dig deep and help them out, that would be great and it will make you feel better on Thanksgiving and that’s what it’s all about,” Madden added.
Molly Nicol, CEO, of the Regional Food Bank of NENY, also implored people to register and donate what they can to help outrun the hunger.
“We are all going to outrun the hunger this year!” Nicol exclaimed.
“This year, now more than ever, with inflation, as the mayor said, we have a lot of folks coming to us for help. One in 10 adults in our region are food insecure and one in seven children. So, it is our honor to try and meet that need but we need your help to do that,” Nicol noted.
“For every dollar that anyone donates to the regional food bank, we can provide four meals to our neighbors in need. So, your money goes a long way in coming here to try and outrun hunger with us!” Nicol explained.
Kevin O’Connor, executive director of Joseph’s House & Shelter, echoed those sentiments on the importance of donations.
“The rest of the presenters talked about inflation and if you feel some of that pinch when you go to the grocery store, just multiply that by 2,000 people. That’s the amount of people that we need to feed,” O’Connor said.
“We house and shelter over 1,500 people in the course of the year. When you open your National Grid bill, multiply that by five buildings that we run, 50 apartments that we sponsor,” O’Connor noted.
“So, prices have gone up, at the same time we’re doing the best that we can to make sure our staff is compensated for the very challenging work that they’re all doing. So, your contributions are even more impactful this year,” O’Connor added.
While registering at TroyTurkeyTrot.com, all participants are encouraged to make a donation to the event’s two aforementioned charities. Event organizers are hoping to raise $20,000+ to support the work of these two charities.