Come Thanksgiving every year, runners and non-runners alike flock to the starting line of their local turkey trot for some exercise and some fun with family and friends before settling down to their big meal. But because turkey trots are so popular, it can be hard for your race to stand out from the pack. Whether your race has been around for years or it’s just getting its feet wet, consider these ideas to set your race apart from all the rest.
First and foremost, turkey trots are FUN! So why not introduce an element of dress-up to see just how creative your community can be. Whether they don the traditional turkey costume or think of something more out there—like dressing their toddler into a sweet potato casserole—you’re sure to see some amazing costumes. Top it off with a prize for the most creative, fan favorite, and even the best homemade, and give away a holiday-themed prize, like a fully cooked turkey or a pumpkin pie.
Food Drive and Donation Drop
Use your race as an opportunity to give back to your community by setting up a food drive or donation drop at your event. While a food drive is pretty self-explanatory, a donation drop can work in a number of ways. Either set up bins for folks to donate new or gently used clothes for those in need, or incorporate it a bit more into your race by setting up the drop zone at the first aid station on course! Then, when participants shed their layers while running, rather than holding onto those items throughout the rest of the race, they can drop them off with the intention of donating them to the cause.
Pre- or Post-Race Photo Booth or Selfie Station
Pics or it didn’t happen! Set up fun, holiday-themed photo areas for participants, families, and spectators alike to capture the turkey trot experience. You can even use it to help people spread the word about your race by adding event branding on the backdrop and instructions to tag your race’s social media account or to use the event hashtag when posting their pics.
Pie Eating Contest
There are donut runs and beer runs, so why not do a pie run?! After participants make it a certain number of miles into the race, have them scarf down a slice of pie before heading to the finish line. After all, Thanksgiving is partly a day for eating, right?
Or, if you want to go for something a bit more traditional, set up a pie-eating contest after the race, where entrants compete for a grand prize after getting their run on to start the day.
Thanksgiving Recipe Swap
Thanksgiving is about coming together as a family—and that can include your community, too! Set up a station at your race, either before or during the post-race festival, where folks can write down and share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Then, post this collection online or take it a step further by creating a community recipe book that you then sell at next year’s race!