You may or may not know that Thanksgiving Day is now the most popular day to participate in a running race in the United States of America (the second most popular day is Independence Day (July 4)).
There are many reasons why this might be true (the family-friendly nature of these events, the desire to “earn” one’s pie later in the day, the ability to connect with others in the community, the fact that it’s a federal holiday and many people don't have to work, etc.). I personally think it’s the fun and joyful factor; these holiday races have a way of returning us to our “roots” of why we started in endurance sports in the first place. No matter your reason for running in a Thanksgiving Day race, it’s a great opportunity to give thanks for the ability to run strong and with a smile.
Here’s the round up of Full Circle Endurance athletes from Thanksgiving 2021. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Baldwinsville Kiwanis Turkey Day Races - Baldwinsville, New York
Five Full Circle Endurance athletes raced in Baldwinsville, New York on Thanksgiving morning at the Baldwinsville Kiwanis Turkey Day Races: Jean Carnese, Lisa Crockford, Rebecca Dottolo, Julie Matyasik, and Natalie Metz. Jean took on the 10K, and everyone else ran the 5K race.
Jean scooped up a brand-new personal best time for the 10K distance!
This was a key race for Lisa; we were using this race to see how our last training block of run speed training is going. This past Sunday, she ran a 5K as a “race day strategy test” for this race, and I’m so pleased to say that everything went according to plan; Lisa ran the Turkey Day Race (which was on a much more challenging course) almost a full two minutes faster than she just ran on Sunday!
Rebecca ran this event along with her three sons. Her oldest son, 12-year-old Dominic, ran faster than any other Full Circle Endurance athlete there, finishing the 5K in 24:24! Rebecca ran/walked the 5K with her two younger sons and had a great time enjoying the race with her family.
Julie clocked her fastest 5K time in over four years!
Natalie and her wife Corey ran the 5K together in matching outfits, with their only goal being to enjoy their favorite race of the year and this time together. Their son, Sebastian, also ran the 5K, though he hit the finish line before both of them. These Full Circle Endurance kids are speedy!
Congratulations to Jean, Lisa, Rebecca, Julie, and Natalie!
YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot - Buffalo, New York
This point-to-point 8K road race is the oldest running race in the United States of America, as it has now been run for 126 years. Yep, you read that right. The YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot is older than the Boston Marathon, the Manchester Road Race, and countless other iconic races. In 2020, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, this race actually hosted a limited field of 125 athletes just to keep their status as the longest continuous running race in the country.
On Thanksgiving Day, Daria Bakina ran this event along with her family. She CRUISED right on through all eight miles of this course to hear herself nice, shiny personal best time. Way to go, Daria!
Gobbler 5K - New Port Richey, Florida
Geena Silvia has been building back into running, so her participation in the Gobbler 5K was a “race walk.” Not a moseying stroll, but not a run. Geena said that she felt like she used to feel rushing around midtown Manhattan when she was on work trips in New York City! Geena’s doing all the things she needs to do to build back into running soon; I have confidence that she’ll be running next year’s Turkey Trot. :)
Way to go, Geena!
The Fourth Annual Heintzelman Turkey Day Race - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
In what has become an annual tradition, Scott Heintzelman and his daughter Sarah ran their town personal family Turkey Trot near their homes in Pennsylvania. There is not much that these two enjoy more than spending time together while covering some miles. Way to go, Team Heintzelman!
Money Road Thanksgiving Turkey Trot - Brewerton, New York
In an event organized by her racing team, Moxie2 Racing, Christina Barker walked a 5K on Thanksgiving morning. We are working on rebuilding Christina’s run, and her patience is paying off; she cruised through those 3.1 miles, even at a walking pace!
Way to go, Christina!
Giving Thanks - Nationwide
Carolyn Classen (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), Jacquie Craggett (Sunnyvale, Texas), Gerad Levey (Rochester, New York), Jennifer Pearce (Lakewood, Colorado), and Beth Tucker (Albany, New York) ran “Giving Thanks” runs on their own. While they didn’t run official (or even unofficial) Turkey Trots, they still embraced this opportunity to give thanks for the ability to be outside and celebrate their ability to move their bodies with strength.
Way to go, Carolyn, Jacquie, Gerad, Jennifer, and Beth!
Coach Laura Henry
Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.