Did you know that 2019 marks the 25th year the Turkey Trot has been running in Towson? Wowsers! So, you’re probably wondering how one of Maryland’s favorite Thanksgiving events came about?
Well! In the fall of 1994, Jill Williamson, the fitness director at the then Towson Y (now the Orokawa Y in Towson), suggested a 5k as a way to raise money for Y programs. The team decided to hold it on Thanksgiving morning and the rest, as they say, is history!
Armed with support from members, the team secured sponsors and got local media coverage for the day of the event.
Starting with approximately 150 runners and nine sponsors, the team launched something they were passionate about. By the year 2000, the race was up to 19 sponsors! And last year, in 2018, almost 3,000 runners joined in the fun!
The Towson community fully embraced this wonderful family-friendly tradition, and before long, it spread throughout central Maryland.
Now the race spans 7 Y locations and almost 15,000 runners!
In 2018, together we raised $850,000 for children in families in central Maryland who otherwise would not be able to afford Y programs and services such as preschool, before and after school enrichment and other programs to support health and well-being.
Says John Holman, long-time Northern Baltimore County Community Leadership Board member, “the Y has been, and continues to be, such a bright spot in our community.”
Though Jill’s involvement with the Y and her Y Center has changed (she’s now a personal trainer at the Greater Annapolis Y in Arnold), she’s still involved with the Y’s Turkey Trot Charity 5k. In fact, she’s been coordinating the race route for the Y Turkey Trot in Arnold for the past few years.
We hope to see you at this year’s Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning! Whether you want to run, walk, volunteer or raise money to support your community, there’s something for everyone! Register now.
To celebrate, the Northern Baltimore County Y Volunteer Community Leadership Board is hosting a Silver Jubilee Celebration at the Valley Inn on November 21 with happy hour specials, giveaways, and a 50/50 raffle. It’s free and you can RSVP here!
Special thanks to Northern Baltimore County Community Leadership Board member Rich Zink for his long-standing support of the Towson race, and for his assistance in researching the original race.
Hi! My name is Peter the Dog. I’m a ten-year-old black lab of mixed heritage (of which I’m very proud of, by the way.) I’m also adopted (another a point of pride). My adopted mother, Sara, is a saint. She feeds me two times a day (and more when I’m extra hungry or very sweet — which is, of course, well, always).
Even though sometimes it seems like we’re a different species (I mean, come on! Have you seen the clothes she wears? So uptight!), she and I have a lot in common. We both love to walk, and while she’s into “power walking,” and I’m more into “smelling the roses,” we both love our outdoor time together.
We’re also both natural caretakers. That’s why we sign up for the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K together every year! It gets us out on the walking trail early Thanksgiving morning, is super fun and feeds our deep need to help others. In fact, helping others is etched in my DNA. “My people” (so to speak), have been helping others since the beginning of time, so I’m an expert, and this I know to be true: the more you give, the more you get– big time (and I’m not just talkin’ treats here. I’m talkin’ that warm feeling you get deep in the pit of your belly for doing good deeds).
So come on, get off the couch! Put down the remote and run or walk with us Thanksgiving morning! You’ll love the good vibes and the exercise. Plus, the bandana you get when you register (or shirt for the uptight, uh… I mean upright types) makes a serious fashion statement, so it’s a total win-win! Here’s a picture of me modelling this year’s bandana (I hadn’t had my coffee yet that morning but you get the picture…)
The 2018 Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K was our most successful ever – thanks to you! Thank you for making it happen and for being such an important part of this special community event. And don’t forget that registration for the 2019 Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K opens Sunday, September 1st! Mark your calendars now and get in on the family fun, feel-good event of the year!
Photos will be posted on our Facebook page starting Thanksgiving Day. Some photos can take up to a week, so be sure to follow along to not miss out.
Don’t forget – if you are not currently a Y Member, your registration for the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K kicks-off your complimentary Y membership – good for up to 30 days until December 31, 2018! Just register for Turkey Trot, then stop by any Y Center with a copy of your receipt (email or printed) and a photo ID to activate your free Y membership today!
We would like to thank all the generous sponsors of the 2018 Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K and wish you all a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!
Online registration for the 2018 Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K closed at 8pm, Monday, November 19th, but you may still register at each location’s packet pick-up. Please see here for dates and locations. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Please note, although we try our very best, we can’t guarantee shirt sizes for people who register during Race Week.
Race Week Rates: (beginning at 11:59pm Saturday, November 17th)
Are you thinking about signing your family up for the Turkey Trot Charity 5K? We’re here to tell you that there are so many benefits to participating as a family, especially if you have little ones!
It encourages the value of physical activity from a young age
As parents know, children are always watching and learning. Running or walking together provides an excellent opportunity to get everyone moving and promotes an active, healthy lifestyle. And it’s not just for your two-legged family members either—you can bring your pups along, too! And to make things even better, if you register your dog they will receive a fashionable doggy bandana to wear!
You can relive your youth!
Do you remember what running was like as a kid? You laced up your shoes (maybe, if you wore them!) and took off as fast as your legs could carry you, arms swinging wild and free. Participating in the Turkey Trot with your family allows you to relive the joys of your youth!
You can help others, together
If you don’t want to run or walk, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Spend the morning supporting others by helping with packet pickup, holding mile markers, or assisting with setup and cleanup. It’s a great opportunity to talk to your family about giving back and volunteerism. Plus, you’ll probably make some new friends! To search all volunteer opportunities, simply follow this link.
And lastly, the Turkey Trot Charity 5K is also a great way to spend time together with your family, friends, neighbors, and community—and isn’t that the perfect way to start a day of giving thanks?