KIDSGAZETTE

Why Americans love the Turkey Trot

Hailey Mills (from left), 18, and Austin Mills, both of Watkins, cheer as they get to the finish line during the Cedar R
Hailey Mills (from left), 18, and Austin Mills, both of Watkins, cheer as they get to the finish line during the Cedar Rapids Turkey Trot 5k run/walk in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

The first marathon was a harrowing and fatal footrace for one man, who ran 26.22 miles to deliver crucial news about the Greeks’ victory at the Battle of Marathon.

Turkey Trots, the most popular race in the United States, have no such glorious back story.

The first Turkey Trot was run in 1896, according to Runner’s World, and was in Buffalo, New York. Six people ran an 8-kilometer race, and only four of them finished — one blamed his late breakfast. But Buffalo kept hosting the race, and with the 125th race coming up this year, it’s the oldest continuous footrace in the U.S.

Through the 1900s, Americans just grew more and more obsessed with a trot before their turkey feast. Many of these races — some 1 mile runs, others 5Ks, 10Ks or half-marathons — are virtual this year, but thousands of Americans likely will still wake up Thanksgiving morning and lace up their running shoes. Some fun runners even wear turkey costumes while they exercise.

Does anyone in your family like to jog? Anyone can make their own Turkey Trot, just map out a short route together and make a plan to run it Thursday morning! Turkey costumes optional.

Comments: molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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