TROY — After a one-year hiatus due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 5,471 runners from 30 states returned to the streets of Troy on Thanksgiving morning to celebrate the 105th anniversary (74th running) of the Troy Turkey Trot, presented by Pioneer.
Under partly sunny skies and with temperatures hovering in the low 30s, America’s 12th oldest road race kicked off with the Capital Region’s only 10K. James Anderson (of Rochester, NY) outpaced 1,100 rivals on the flat, out-and-back course to win the prestigious crown and earn a $300 first place check. Former University at Albany distance runner Cara Sherman, 24, the event’s 2019 champion, was the first female finisher. Sherman, who also took home $300, had been red hot this fall. She finished second at the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K (17:14), first overall at the Boilermaker 5K (17:05), and won the women’s title Nov. 14 at the Stockade-athon 15K (54:24).
“The Turkey Trot has become much more than just a foot race,” said Troy Mayor Patrick Madden. “It’s a celebration of our City’s history and holiday traditions, a way to support local charities that help local families in need, and an opportunity for residents and visitors to once again make Troy part of their annual holiday traditions. I was delighted to welcome everyone back to the Collar City this Thanksgiving for another safe, fun. family-filled event and look forward to another successful event in 2022.”
Following the conclusion of the 10K, 422 children slapped on their own race numbers for the Grade School Mile, a fun chip-timed event for children in the 8th grade and below. They were followed to the start line by 415 participants in the one-mile Turkey Walk, a leisurely stroll past some of the finest 19th century architecture in the country.
As ovens began warming in kitchens across the region, 3,163 runners toed the line for the 5K, the Trot’s most popular race. Many wore colorful costumes as part of the event’s costume contest, which offered prizes for Best Thanksgiving Day Costume and the Most Unique Costume. Alex Hislop (of Clifton Park, NY) was the first male to cross the finish line at Monument Square. Female bragging rights went to Danielle Jordan (of Seattle, WA). Each won $300.
Giving back to the less fortunate remains central to the Trot’s mission. Supported by a $2,500 donation from the Pioneer Foundation, Trotters gave more than $18,500 to the event’s two primary charities, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and Joseph’s House and Shelter, a Troy-based not-for-profit whose mission is to prevent and alleviate homelessness. Both charities have experienced 40-50% increase in people seeking assistance since the start of the pandemic.
“I really didn’t know what to expect today in terms of our turnout,” said Event Director George Regan, noting that 300 participants took part in the Trot’s virtual options. “Some races have been doing really well and others less so in terms participation. To welcome 83% percent of our 2019 field (6,405) shows me that this event is very much alive and well. People still want to come together to get exercise and burn off some calories before their big meal later in the day!”
For results, finisher certificates, and photos, visit www.TroyTurkeyTrot.com.
Troy Turkey Trot sponsors include Pioneer Bank, Wm. J. Fagan & Sons, Capital Region Honda Dealers, Lamar Advertising, and Choice Physical Therapy.