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Surge of registrations puts Turkey Trot near capacity

Registration for the Buffalo Niagara YMCA Turkey Trot topped 10,000 participants earlier than usual this year, raising the prospect that the Thanksgiving Day race will hit its 14,000 registration limit earlier than in past years.

“Over the past decade, the popularity of this event has truly grown. We’re excited to see such overwhelming support for the event year after year and it’s a thrill to be a part of one of Buffalo’s best traditions,” YMCA Communications Director Kathy Romanowski said.

Nearly 1,000 runners registered in the last week alone for the 8K walk and run, Romanowski said.

Race capacity is locked in at 14,000 because of fire codes in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, where the post-race party and awards ceremony takes place.

Registration for the race costs $40 and can be handled online at; registration stops once the field hits 14,000 or Nov. 19, whichever comes first.

“We typically sell out the second week of November but we’re really trending ahead of last year by quite a bit so we imagine earlier,” Romanowski said.

This year’s nearly 5-mile trot starts at 9 a.m. Nov. 26 at Delaware and Tacoma avenues, near the Delaware YMCA. The course heads south on Delaware to the Convention Center.

For the first time, race packet pickup will take place this year at a new destination – the Independent Health Family Branch YMCA at 150 Tech Drive in Amherst – instead of at the Delaware Y.

The YMCA made the switch because the Independent Health branch, alongside Erie Community College North Campus at Main Street and Youngs Road, has much more parking and more space indoors to handle Turkey Trot runners.

Packet pickup and the Runner’s Roost expo will take place Nov. 23 to 25.

Those who register for the race also will have the option of taking a free ticket to the University at Buffalo-UMass football game, and tailgating party featuring Strictly Hip, the afternoon after Thanksgiving.