I have started my Thanksgiving Day in Dallas by participating in the Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot for the last 10 years.
I love it!
Each year has been a different experience and each one has been a blast. I have done both the 5k and the 8 mile courses. I have done it alone, with one other person, and with 10 other people. My favorite thing about it is that it is my tradition and I am now making it my family tradition. I’ve put together some helpful guidelines for the Trot based on my experience, but you can get tons more information here if I didn’t address something of interest to you.
Part of History
Last year was a record setting crowd of 36,820 participants. I love this! I love that so many people are gathering on Thanksgiving morning for fun and fitness.
Also, last year a world record was set for the largest gathering of people dressed as turkeys! While I was not one of these people dressed as a turkey, I still got in the spirit with a festive turkey hat. You know you want one too, and you can order it online here.
The Dallas Turkey Trot is the largest Thanksgiving Day event of its kind in the country!
Just the Facts
The event starts and ends at Dallas City Hall Plaza at 9:00 am on Thanksgiving morning.
You can register online here, walk in to your local Luke’s Locker or on race day in the underground parking area at City Hall. If you register online, you can pick up your packet at Luke’s Locker starting Wednesday, November 14th.
The price, no matter the distance, is $25 or $30 if you want to be timed.
There are many parking lots around City Hall plaza. We have never had problems finding a place to park, but bring some cash. You can also take Dart. I can’t personally speak to Dart and can’t use it now because of my huge double BOB stroller, but it sounds extremely convenient. This is actually a great option if you are running the 8 mile but your family is walking the 5k. You can get there and line up toward the front and ride home with the family.
Walking with a Group
If you are walking with a group, I highly recommend meeting before you go or meeting in a parking lot before getting to the starting line. Once you get in the starting line crowd, it will difficult to find anyone. Have a plan in place of where to meet after the race if you get separated.
If you have strollers or a dog, line up at the back. This isn’t just in consideration of runners without these things (though it is very considerate), but your experience will be much more enjoyable. I know my kids don’t want to be confined in their stroller for long periods of time, especially if we aren’t moving. In fact, we showed up 15-20 minutes after the start for the kids’ first Trot (they were 8 months old) and it was perfect.
Feeling the Need for Speed
If you want to run, especially the 8 mile, make your way to the front. There will be tons of walkers lined up pretty close to the front, so try to be patient and don’t waste your energy on weaving in and out. The 5k and 8 mile courses split around the 2 mile mark, so save your energy and make it up the time later.
If you have family doing the 5k, encourage them to find a spot along the 8 mile finish and be loud so you know exactly where to go once you are finished. I have had great cell reception some years and extremely spotty other years so knowing where to meet can make a huge difference in your day.
If you have time, hang out for a while. Enjoy the morning with great music and bounce houses!
I really can’t say enough great things about this event. It is one of my favorite things to do in Dallas and it is truly a great time for the whole family. The people watching is amazing. Lots of folks will be in costume, matching t-shirts, the aforementioned turkey hats, etc. There is just so much great energy at this event!
If you are hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner at your home or cooking lots of dishes (as opposed to my one broccoli, rice and cheese casserole), encourage your family to go and give you some alone time in the kitchen.
Hope to see you there!