The region's favorite Thanksgiving morning tradition, the 45th Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot, is moving to a virtual format due to COVID-19.
While the in-person race was cancelled after consultations with local health officials, the community is encouraged to participate in this 45-year tradition during Thanksgiving week. Participants can complete a five-mile run or walk at the place of their choice any time between Nov. 21 and 29 and log their race times online. Registration is open at alexandriaturkeytrot.com; while participants can register at any time until Nov. 28, the deadline to order a commemorative t-shirt is Nov. 13. Registration for the race is $10 for children 12 and under; $20 for 13-21; and $25 for 22 and up.
"For 45 years, the Alexandria Turkey Trot has drawn a diverse crowd -- including elite runners, families, and dogs," said Turkey Trot Race Director Brian Danza. "We hope that those who participate every year decide to run or walk the race to keep this tradition going." In addition to logging their times, all runners will receive a commemorative 2020 bib.
The event is a major fundraiser and food drive for ALIVE, a nonprofit organization that serves those most in need in the City of Alexandria. In 2019, the event raised over $6,000 for ALIVE!, with runners donating over 2,000 pounds of food. The Alexandria Turkey Trot is also the primary fundraiser for the Del Ray Business Association, which hosts a wide range of community events year-round and represents the independently-owned restaurants, retailers, and businesses in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.
"The Alexandria community is known for its tremendous community spirit and deep generosity. With so many of our small businesses and so many of our neighbors struggling, this year's Trot is more important than ever," said Del Ray Business Association president Sue Kovalsky. " We look forward to seeing neighbors, dogs, and generations of families running together throughout Thanksgiving week."
In the spirit of the holiday, runners are encouraged to donate nonperishable food items for ALIVE! Needed items include one-pound bags of rice; one-pound bags of dried beans; macaroni and cheese boxes; canned vegetable, soup and fruit (14-15 oz.); canned tuna; canned chicken; and baking mixes (such as Bisquick, 5-7 oz.). Information on drop-off locations is available at alexandriaturkeytrot.com.
The Alexandria Turkey Trot traditionally takes place on Thanksgiving morning with a fast and flat course through the streets of Del Ray. The event, sponsored by the Del Ray Business Association and DC Road Runners, draws nearly 6,000 runners, including some of the fastest elite runners on the east coast. For complete information on the virtual race, and to register and reserve your commemorative 2020 t-shirt, visit www.alexandriaturkeytrot.com.