Turkey Trot Season: By the Numbers

Each year on Thanksgiving, we look forward to eating a delicious feast with family and friends. But as runners, this only comes after we test our limits at a local road race. It’s usually pretty easy given the abundance of races and the fun atmosphere at these events. There’s just something a little bit more satisfying about that Thanksgiving meal if you have a sense of accomplishment under your belt. Well, apparently the rest of the world is on to us. The Wall Street Journal summed it up well in their recent article “The Calorie Burn Before the Thanksgiving Feast“. It looks like we started a rapidly growing trend.


Counting the Thanksgiving-themed races in the days right before Thanksgiving through the weekend after, this author tallied 54 races in Massachusetts alone. Coolrunning.com was used as the data source. A total of 35,359 runners and walkers took to the roads to participate in some sort of turkey trot. That’s more people than the population of Chelmsford! If you consider that approximately 100 calories are burned per mile, then we collectively burned around 11 million calories on Thanksgiving morning! Put differently, we burnt almost 40,000 big slices of apple pie. Now that’s something to be proud of! This trend is likely to grow — concerns about general health are increasing and many enjoy the endorphin effect that a little bit of exercise can create. Naturally, we ought to shoot for 50,000 slices of pie burnt for next year!

apple pie

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