Turkey Trot T Shirts – 10 Fun Facts – What is Turkey Trot?

Turkey Trot T Shirts Design Template

You may have noticed that Turkey Trot T Shirts are becoming very popular and new designs are in high demand for those in charge of coordinating the Turkey Trot events. If you find yourself asking, what is Turkey Trot? Then you’re in the right place!

When creating event t-shirt designs, it’s important to understand the meaning and history behind the events. So, I’ve pulled together everything you need to know – 10 Fun Facts About Turkey Trot Thanksgiving to get you started.

1. What is Turkey Trot?

A quick Google search of “what is turkey trot” will tell you that it’s a kind of ballroom dance to ragtime music that was popular in the early 20th century. You can watch a quick video of what some called the “scandalous animal dance” here. They’ve obviously never seen modern day “dirty dancing” and that’s obviously not the kind of trot we’re talking about here. And although that “Trot” may have been fun, it surely pales in comparison to the popularity of the modern phenomenon, the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving Race!

2. Why Turkey Trot Thanksgiving?

So, what is Turkey Trot in modern day? It is a footrace, traditionally held before the feast on Thanksgiving morning (thus the term Turkey Trot Thanksgiving). Most races are held annually, on or around Thanksgiving Day. However, some are held prior to the holiday to raise money for charities that provide families in need with Thanksgiving meals.

So, if you think the only race happening on Thanksgiving Day is seeing who can get to the pumpkin pie first, guess again! Before lifting a fork or watching football, hundreds of thousands of Americans begin their holiday by giving thanks – with a Trot.

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The Trot can be a competitive race or a fun run/walk for those participants looking to burn some extra calories before consuming their Thanksgiving Feasts. Either way, the race makes perfect sense, uniting the caloric extravaganza of Thanksgiving with the calorie-torching activity of running. It’s a perfect combination and a win-win for everyone!

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3. How far is a Turkey Trot race?

According to USA Track and Field, sanctioned races range in distance from 3.1 (5K) to 26.2 miles. However, most are between 3.1 miles (5K) to 8 miles. Some events also offer a kid-friendly 1K (0.62 miles) walk/run race that can be fun for the whole family.

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4. When was the first Turkey Trot?

The first Trot took place 123 years ago (no, I didn’t hit an extra number) back in 1896! The inaugural event, an 8K cross-country race held on Thanksgiving Day, was hosted by the local YMCA in Buffalo, New York.

That first race drew only six participants, and only four of them made it to the finish line. But that didn’t stop them from holding the event again the following year, and the year after that, and each year after that, making it the longest consecutively run race in North America. In the past 123 years nothing has stopped the race, including a freak blizzard in 2000 during which Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello had to order the streets cleared for the race.

The Buffalo YMCA Turkey Trot helped spark the trend by routinely selling out, and now closes at around 14,000 participants who run the 5-mile course, often wearing Thanksgiving-themed costumes.

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5. What’s the biggest Turkey Trot race?

As Buffalo’s event remains the oldest and longest running Turkey Day race, the Dallas Turkey Trot (also put on by the YMCA) has been gaining popularity over the years and had to change courses several times to accommodate its growing numbers.

Beginning with only 107 runners the first year, it now takes the prize for biggest and most popular as over 25,000 participants took part in one of its three events last year: an 8-mile run, a 3-mile fun run, and a wheelchair race.

6. What’s the most unusual Turkey Trot race?

The most unusual Turkey Trot Thanksgiving award goes to the small town of Cuero, Texas, who took the festivities to a whole new level from 1912 to 1972. During those 60 years, thousands of spectators lined the streets each Thanksgiving to watch as more than 18,000 live turkeys were herded down Main Street!

The town was forced to stop when the local turkey industry dried up in the 1970’s, but they still hold a traditional 5K Trot for humans, as well as the Great Gobbler Gallop, which determines the victor of the “fastest turkey” award each year.

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7. How fast can a turkey really trot?

With all this talk about turkeys and running, you might be wondering (like me) just how fast can a turkey actually trot on those little drumsticks? As it turns out, wild turkeys can run up to speeds of 25 miles per hour and can max out speeds of 55 miles per hour flying. So, mystery solved…turkeys really are hot to trot!

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8. Are prizes given out at Thanksgiving Trots?

As with most races, the top placing participants may be awarded some type of prize like a ribbon or medal – sometimes an appropriately themed “turkey” shaped medal. Other popular prizes can include cash, gift cards, t-shirts, hats, frozen turkeys, or even actual live turkeys! Many Trots are held for charity and the proceeds are used to distribute frozen turkeys to families in need so that they can enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving Feast.

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9. Where can I find Turkey Trot T Shirts?

In recent years, Turkey Trot T Shirts have become almost as popular as the races themselves. Many events have annual designs created for Turkey Trot shirts, usually bearing the event name and date/year. If you’re looking for a cool T-shirt logo for your event, Designs4Screen has custom templates for Turkey Trot t shirts that you can download and customize for printing.

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The shirts are either given to participants as part of their entry fee and/or sold as a fundraiser during the event. Turkey Trot shirts also make great prizes and gifts for volunteers, and many participants love to “collect” them as mementos year-after-year.

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10. How many calories are in a Thanksgiving Feast?

According to Google, the average American will consume about 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving – for dinner alone. If you plan to indulge in appetizers, drinks, and dessert, you should revise that number to 4,500!

Now, when you’re thinking about what size to order for your Turkey Trot t shirts, keep in mind that races are run before the feast – thankfully – since a larger size might be more comfortable afterward. But, good for you if you’re running the Turkey Trot in the morning, then you can afford to feast later in the day and not worry about those calorie counts. Be thankful and enjoy because you deserve it!

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More Helpful Resources:

Check out 85 Best Slogans for Thanksgiving T Shirts & Turkey Trot Shirts for more design inspiration!

Are you thinking of starting a new Thanksgiving race tradition in your town? Check out How to Plan a Turkey Trot and you can even download a free copy of A Race Director’s 10 Step Guide to Planning a Turkey Trot.

Find a Turkey Trot Race to run near you!

Check out the 30 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Trots