Can a Thanksgiving Day Run Cancel Out the Calories?
Let’s face it, if running burns approximately 100 calories a mile, the local Turkey Trot — usually a 5K (3.1 miles) or less — won’t exactly negate the caloric total of your Thanksgiving feast, which, according to the American Council on Exercise, can total 3,000 calories. Nope, you’d need to log an exhausting 30 miles to cancel out those calories.
But that’s not stopping Thanksgiving Day races from growing in popularity. Ryan Lamppa, the media director at Running USA, said there was a 34 percent growth in Thanksgiving Day races from 2008 to 2010, with more than 500,000 people crossing a finish line before lining up for pumpkin pie.
Bill Flaws at Running in the USA shared these statistics:
- 324 races on Thanksgiving Day with “Turkey” in the race name
- 63 races on Thanksgiving Day with “Thanksgiving” in the the race name
- 468 races held on Thanksgiving Day
- 632 races held between Nov. 24 and Nov. 27
Both Lamppa and Flaws expect another record number of Thanksgiving Day road-race finishers this year, particularly if the weather cooperates across the country. Not that Turkey Day races are anything new, says Lamppa. “Some of the oldest U.S. road races are on Thanksgiving, so many are an American tradition for that community.” That’s definitely the case in Cincinnati, where they will host their 102nd Thanksgiving Day Race. Apparently the notion of justifying your pie has been around for quite a while.
Tell Us: Are you running a race on Thanksgiving Day?
—Kara Thom, Runner’s World Reporter