Too Hot to Trot

Lace up for a Turkey Trot before gorging on a Thanksgiving feast

Thanksgiving, with all of the over-eating, drinking, sleeping and eating again it entails, might stress out super-fit folks who don’t like leaving their practiced regimen of diet and exercise.

In comes the Turkey Trot. The races happen early on Thanksgiving, allowing runners the rest of the holiday to guiltlessly carry on with their loved ones through course after course. These Turkey Day runs offer a healthy and fun side dish during a holiday that might otherwise throw some people off their fitness course.

There are plenty of Central New York options when it comes to running the right race.

The Baldwinsville-Kiwanis Turkey Trot, now in its 45th year, features 5K and 10K courses and is the most crowded locally, topping out around 3,000 runners. There are smaller races as well in Tully and Cortland, and the Fayetteville-Manlius School District hosts one in Fayetteville.

Here are a few Turkey Trot tips from Elizabeth Knickerbocker, marketing manager at Fleet Feet. For more information, visit

If you’re not in racing shape and you’re getting coaxed in thanks to some friends, how do you get through it successfully?

People who haven’t run in a while often start out too fast. Then they’ll get hurt and won’t run all winter. Don’t do that! You should be able to hold a conversation while you run. If you can’t do that, slow down a little bit.

Should runners load up on carbohydrates the night before?

Don’t do a carbo load. Just hydrate. Maybe have a whole foods bar 35 minutes before. Try a Picky Bar ( You burn 500 calories in a 10K.

How do you dress for cold-weather running?

You always want to dress in three layers: wicking, warmth and weather. Wicking is like a thin long-sleeve. Warmth is like a half-zip pullover or something with a hood. And weather is as simple as a vest with reflectivity or a shield jacket that’s waterproof.

You want to stay away from cotton, always. Cotton gets wet faster and doesn’t dry fast. Once it’s wet, it’s really heavy and makes your body colder. Once your body’s wet, it tries to cool down more. The wicking layer pulls the moisture away and keeps the body temperature regulated. Check out Mixuno Breath Thermo Technology.

What if you always overheat when running?

Dress for 15 degrees warmer than what it actually is. If it’s 42 degrees, don’t dress like it’s 42. Dress like it’s 57 degrees. You might be cold at the start, but wear an old long-sleeve you don’t mind throwing down if you need to. If your body gets too warm, it doesn’t perform well.

What if it’s icy?

Get stabilizers. They go over the bottom of your shoes with four screw holes. Those are best on the ice. It breaks it up so when you hit down, rubber tread isn’t slipping on the ice. And Yak Tracks are great in the snow. They have a spring on the bottom that goes across to help traction. You can be a huge gadget geek when you run.

Your thoughts on headphones in races?

If you have your headphones on, it’s not a great experience for everyone else. Talk to people and pay attention to what’s happening.

What about everyone who wants to go out on Thanksgiving Eve?

It’s a big night to go out, so just make sure you stay well-hydrated. Alternate beers with water. People are going to go out and do their thing. Hydrate so you don’t cramp up. And once you finish, rehydrate pretty quickly.

Any last bits of advice?

Turkey Trots aren’t for winning. They’re meant to be fun experiences. So have fun!

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