Local Turkey Trots in November 2013

Born to run: Burn off that pumpkin pie in one of the Valley’s Thanksgiving Day races

The typical slice of pumpkin pie has about 320 calories. All you need to do to burn that off is run at a 12 minute-per-mile pace for 30 minutes. If that’s not motivation to enter a Turkey Trot, we don’t know what is.

The Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club Turkey Trot has a long tradition in the Poughkeepsie area, says director Vince Veltre, who regularly ran the five-mile race in the ’70s — and won it more than once.

Now held at Arlington High School in Freedom Plains, the race took place in downtown Poughkeepsie as far back as the early 1900s, Veltre says. “The current format of the Turkey Trot races is very popular. Last year we had over 1,000 entries.” There are races to suit all types of runners: a 25K for the serious distance addicts, the five-mile main event, a two-mile “fun run” for the casual jogger, and a kids’ run that usually attracts between 80-100 participants and is free if you preregister online by November 16. Adult preregistrants received a special Turkey Trot memento. “Those change every year,” Veltre says, “It’s been a coffee mug, a wine glass, and a rain jacket in the past. I try to stay away from T-shirts, because every race does that, and I want the trot to be a little more special and fun” (www.mhrrc.org).

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Upriver, the Troy Turkey Trot has grown from just six runners in 1916 into one of the largest Thanksgiving Day races in the U.S., with a record-setting 8,290 participants pounding the pavement last year. The 2013 edition features four events: the competitive 5K and 10K races, the one-mile Turkey Walk, and the Grade School Mile. Competition is leavened by festivity here. Many runners dress up in costumes — everything from Santa Claus to Spiderman. If you don something heavy, maybe you’ll burn enough calories to offset that second slice of pie (www.troyturkeytrot.com).


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