This Year’s Turkey Trot Turns Virtual

The Family of New Paltz does not encourage large gatherings, but still wants everyone to have fun on their run and encourages participants to run with family or people they’ve had close contact with throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of Martin Weiner.

On your mark, get set, go!

With Thanksgiving approaching, many are wondering what is going to happen with the turkey trots this year. A ‘turkey trot’ is a beloved tradition where people gather on Thanksgiving morning to run a course and burn off calories before the big dinner. In New Paltz, the Family of New Paltz organizes an annual 5k turkey trot that begins at the Water Street Market. This year, the trot is going virtual.

Program Director Ivan Echenique said this year marks the 17th anniversary of the event.


“It started as a fun run which turned into our biggest fundraiser,” Echenique said.

The Family serves the south eastern quadrant of Ulster County, and runs services such as a food pantry, crisis intervention and emergency housing. All proceeds from the turkey trot go back to the Family to make these services possible.

Typically the event draws in a little over 1,000 runners, so Echenique thought it would be safer to turn the 17th annual trot into a virtual one. Participants have until Nov. 30 to run the course in New Paltz, or run a 5k anywhere.

Although participants do not need to time themselves, for those who do want to score and report their mileage there is still an option. All they would need to do is register and download an app called RaceJoy. Then they would open up the app, get it started and run the race.

Normally at the end of the race, prizes for men and women would be available, but given the circumstances of this year prizes won’t be possible. However, all participants can still pick up a t-shirt before Nov. 31 at the Family of New Paltz location on North Chestnut Street.

The biggest funds through the event come from the sponsorships. All sponsors are through local businesses, and some that New Paltz residents are very familiar with, including P&G’s Restaurant, McGillicuddy’s and Main Street Bistro. Although participation numbers for the runners are a little lower than normal this year, on the bright side Echenique said they have more sponsors than last year. So far they have earned over $18,000 in sponsorships.

If you love to run or just love Thanksgiving, the event is a great way to give back to the community. The registration fee is $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 12 and under, and adults ages 65 and older.

For those looking for more course, sponsorship or registration information, please visit the New Paltz turkey trot website.

About Emily O'Neil 65 Articles
Emily O’Neil is a second-year Communications Major with a concentration in Public Relations from Clifton Park, NY. This is her fourth semester on the Oracle. She enjoys being a sports copy editor and particularly enjoys when she gets to write about her favorite team, the New York Yankees.