Registration opened last week for the 121st Annual YMCA Turkey Trot. Yes, it’s still summer and hot and humid. November seems ages away. But organizers will remind you that for the last three years the race has sold out well in advance of the holiday weekend. All 14,000 spots likely will be gobbled up early again this year.
Why? The 8K race (which comes out to about 4.9 miles) has been a Buffalo tradition since 1896 and has a history of bringing family and friends across generations together on Thanksgiving morning. It’s a social event as much as, if maybe not more, than a sporting event. Fast runners up front come ready to compete while the rest of the pack is a mix of humanity. Some runners try to set a personal best. Some use it for training. Many come dressed in costumes, some even appropriately holiday-themed, others seemingly random leftovers from Halloween.
There are people who take running seriously, people for whom running is a joy and people who are trying to walk off a few calories before their pumpkin pie. The diversity and spectacle make it entertaining and also make it accessible to everyone. Lace up your sneakers and register early.