No physical race? No problem. Virtual Turkey Trot saw 2,632 participants


Organizers of the Troy Turkey Trot, one of the nation’s oldest and largest Turkey Trots, said today that 2,632 participants from 36 states, two Canadian provinces and the nation of Turkey participated in the event’s 73rd virtual edition, which was held Thursday, Nov. 26 through Saturday, Nov. 28.

The largest swath of participants took part in the event’s 5K (1,791), while 569 Trotted in the 10K, 170 strolled in the Turkey Mile Walk and 102 children in the eighth grade and below competed in the Grade School Mile.

“It’s extremely gratifying that so many people continued to support the Trot during these challenging times,” Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said. “The pandemic has caused a tremendous amount of isolation and our hope was to bring friends and families together through our custom mobile app, which allowed participants to race with others, real time, regardless of their location. The app gave Trotters a memorable experience and helped families with loved ones around the country feel like they were connected.

“The virtual format also presented us with an unparalleled opportunity to share the spirit of the Troy Turkey Trot — fun, family and fitness — with 14 other Troy communities across the nation,” Madden continued. “It was tremendously heartening to have elected officials from Troy, Kan., Troy, Mich. and Troy, Ill. accept our invitation and participate during the event’s three-day running window.”

Although the Trot drew 41 percent of its 2019 field (6,400 participants), Trotters donated $18,500 — a record amount — to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and Joseph’s House & Shelter, during online registration.

“This event was a huge success in terms of raising funds to fight two insidious disorders in our society, hunger and homelessness,” added Event Director George Regan. “To raise more money than we have ever raised with significantly fewer participants says something special about Trotters’ giving spirit. These donations will make a major impact to these organizations as they feed hungry families and provide warm shelter to homeless men, women and children.”

Organizers reported that their inaugural livestream Thanksgiving morning was also a great success. Filmed at the Frear Building, which is undergoing a significant redevelopment by the Bryce Companies, the show featured live reports from the virtual leaderboard and interviews with Mayor Madden, the event’s charities and longtime participants. A replay of the broadcast can be viewed here.

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