The fourth Thursday in November returns to us, as it always does, with the promise of indulgence, football, and family. It’s also time to convince your in-laws to finish the three miles of running they’ll accomplish all year. They are part of this community’s most valued regulars. They are as certain as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and mashed potatoes on the most revered of all Thursdays. They are not runners. They are trotters.
The annual turkey trot isn’t about personal bests or even running really. Maybe you join the trot in your hometown or maybe you come out and run the Fairfax Turkey Trot, what matters is you join in the holiday fun. It’s half an hour of your life that you’ll never get back, but it’s half an hour of the best family bonding (and rivalry) you can find. There aren’t any medals on the line, only pride and bragging rights for the next year (and a long sleeve technical tee). If you’re the most skilled among your age division, there is the potential to bring home the bacon, I mean pie, as the fruits of your labor.
The trotters emerge from their running hibernation to defeat the family and don the fashion-forward turkey hat while ploughing through the streets of Fairfax, dodging strollers and dogs on their way to the finish line. Half the fun of a turkey trot is the chaos of wrangling your family away from the TV and out onto the roads to be a part of your very own Thanksgiving day parade. Costumes are a must for this event and the crafty-er, cheesier, punny-er the better.
We’ve seen parents dressed as pilgrims pushing a mayflower stroller, an entire brood dressed as different turkey day dishes from cranberry sauce to drumsticks, and a particularly enthusiastic turkey fall flat on his face mid-stride. Let creativity be your guide, but if you’re feeling more low maintenance in preparation of the hours of cooking ahead don’t worry about the theatrics and focus on what this season is all about: family.
The trotters are our family, our running family and otherwise, and they’re here to remind us about the joy of being together while doing something many of us love. The trotters show us how running is for everyone and it’s a beautiful way to bring people together. This thanksgiving bundle up your family (and register as a bundle) and bring them out to the least serious, most fun they’ll have at a family event all year. Forget the casserole and put all of your energy into finishing your turkey day 5k. Vive la trotters!