6,641 Trotters Gobble Up Events at 76th Troy Turkey Trot:
TROY, NY (Nov. 23, 2023) — On a day set aside for Capital Region families to gather and give thanks, 6,641 participants from 33 states and six nations descended upon the Collar City this morning for the 76th running of the Troy Turkey Trot, America’s 12th oldest road race.
The event, presented by Pioneer, sprang into action at 8 a.m. with the Capital Region’s only Thanksgiving Day 10K. Tackling the traditional “out and back course” were more than 1,200 participants, many of whom run competitively for local track and field clubs. James Withers of Utica, NY outpaced his rivals to win the title in 30:31 and earned a $300 first place prize in the process. The first female across the line was Karen Bertasso Hughes of Selkirk, NY, who also earned a $300 pay day with a winning time of 36:15.
More than 4,000 then toed the line on Fourth and Fulton Streets for the 5K, the Trot’s featured event. Before runners embarked on the new 5K course which crossed the scenic Green Island Bridge, Noor Khan, a 5K participant and local software engineer, proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Lisa Church, at the start line podium. Church, a Central New York native who works in Colonie at Childtime Daycare, said an emphatic, “Yes!”
As the race came to an exciting conclusion, Jonathan Aziz of Colorado Springs, CO was the first male to hit the finish tape at Monument Square, with a time of 14:42. He also won a hat trick of titles from 2015-2017. Female bragging rights went to Amanda Chambers of Schenectady, NY, who finished in 17:07 and defended her 2022 win.
“We’ve never had a marriage proposal before at the Trot, and we were delighted to work with Noor to surprise Lisa,” said Event Director George Regan. “Noor has been part of Fleet Feet Albany’s 5K/10K group under Coach Dale Broomhead for years, and Lisa knew a proposal might be coming soon. She never expected it to happen at the Troy Turkey Trot alongside the largest field of Trotters we’ve had in five years.
Earlier in the day, 600 children took part in the Grade School Mile, a fun chip-timed event for children in the 8th grade and below. Meanwhile, another group of 600 participants opted to burn off their pre-meal calories at a slower pace by tackling the Turkey Walk, a one-mile fitness walk that followed the same course as the Grade School Mile.
Trotters, many of whom were in a festive holiday mood, donned colorful costumes as part of the day’s popular costume contest. Prizes were offered to “Best Thanksgiving Day Costume” and “Most Unique Costume.”
Thanksgiving is a time to help the less fortunate and Trotters gave generously to the event’s two charities, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and Joseph’s House and Shelter. With the public’s support, the event raised $20,000 in 2023.
“The City of Troy is so proud to share Thanksgiving morning with so many families and individuals from all over the Capital Region and beyond,” said Troy Mayor Patrick Madden. “It really is a community event in its truest form.”
Event sponsors include Pioneer, Wm. J. Fagan & Sons, Capital Region Honda Dealers, United Services Group, Choice Physical Therapy, Saratoga Water, and the Victorian Stroll presented by the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
About the Troy Turkey Trot
Now in its 107th year (76th running), the Troy Turkey Trot is the nation’s 12th and world’s 64th oldest road race. The event, which celebrates fun, family and fitness against a backdrop of some of Troy's most historic neighborhoods, draws more than 6,000 participants from 33 states and features a 5K, the Capital Region’s only 10K, a Grade School Mile and a Turkey Walk, while also raising funds for the event’s two charities, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and Joseph’s House and Shelter. For more information, visit TroyTurkeyTrot.com.