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Trottin’ toward glory: Thanksgiving race refresher

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

For those of you who are smartly resting on the biggest party night of the year in preparation for the Turkey Trot, this post is in celebration of you.

The five-mile race, which has been run since 1896, begins at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving at the Delaware Avenue YMCA in North Buffalo. It’s already sold out, but there are still opportunities to volunteer for a race that welcomes 14,000 runners—many dressed up in festive attire.

After you’ve sprinted, jogged or walked the five mile course down Delaware Avenue, around Niagara Square and onto Church and Franklin streets by the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, there’s a post-race party at Statler City for refreshments and the award ceremony. You can even have your photo taken by illustrious Buffalo.com photographer Don Nieman, who should be camped out around the finish-line and inside Statler City.

Check out photos from last year’s event by Don Nieman, including the delightfully coordinated header photo, so you know what to expect if you’re participating in the race, cheering someone on or volunteering.

Here’s some particularly helpful info, courtesy of the YMCA of Buffalo Niagara:

  —Shuttle buses will run from the Convention Center to the Delaware YMCA from 7:00 – 7:45 am. LAST BUS LEAVES THE CONVENTION CENTER AT 7:45 am.
  — Port-O-Johns will be available outside the Delaware YMCA.
  —Runners will begin lining up at 8:30 a.m.  Please line up according to your ability using the pace flags as a guide.
  —Awards will be determined by gun time for overall and masters winners.  Age group winners will be determined by chip time.
  —Shuttle buses will run from the PEARL STREET SIDE of the Convention Center to the Target parking lot on Delaware from 10:00 – 11:45 am.
  —Roller blades, strollers and dogs are not allowed on the race course.
  —The Turkey Trot phone line is 716-875-1283.

If you find yourself with a little spare time before the race, Buffalo.com’s S.J. Velasquez came across a recent display inside the Delaware YMCA that features vintage Turkey Trot t-shirts. Here’s a sample:

It’s perfectly normal that they smell like a mixture of sweat and slightly old stuffing. Don’t let it faze you!

And, as someone who’s spent far more time with a physical therapist due to shin splints than he’d like to admit here, here’s a quick Tsuj’s Five for your race prep:

1) Eat a good meal tonight so you have energy tomorrow. Carbs will be your friend.
2) Hydrate tonight—it may feel weird to drink more than 64 oz. of water now, but you’ll be thankful tomorrow.
3) Arrive early so you’re comfortable and not rushed. Pre-race mindset is good to be a little nervous but still somewhat relaxed.
4) Jog before you stretch. I’m a believer that it’s not a good idea to stretch stiff muscles.
5) Hydrate after the race before you start downing beer and turkey. Your body will be thankful on Friday morning.

Best of luck to all the racers tomorrow morning, and you’ll probably enjoy the tryptophan-induced nap a little more than everyone else.

TAGGED: holiday runs, races, thanksgiving, turkey trot

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