Thanksgiving Still the Most Popular Day for a Race, According to Running USA


Turkey Trot participation across the United States continued to grow in 2018, with more than 1.17 million runners registering to run, jog, trot or walk in races of a variety of distances across the nation.

While not every race classified as a Turkey Trot takes place on Thanksgiving Day, the vast majority do, making Thanksgiving the most popular day for Americans to be out road racing each year.

Turkey Trots have seen steady growth since Running USA, the national non-profit trade organization for the sport of road running, began tracking participation in 2011. That year, around 684,000 runners laced up their shoes in advance of a Thanksgiving feast, meaning the number of turkey trotters has nearly doubled in less than a decade.

“As the popularity of Turkey Trots grows, we increasingly see them as healthy activities for the whole family on one of the biggest holidays of the year,” said Rich Harshbarger, CEO of Running USA. “The vast majority of participants are running with partners, children, other family members, friends, and even multi-generational branches of their family tree.”