A Thanksgiving Tradition: Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

For eleven years, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot has been a Thanksgiving tradition for many families in the Bay Area. It’s a way to keep fit, burn a few pre-feast calories and help a number of worthy local non-profit organizations.

The annual race includes a number of different events, allowing all ages and physical fitness levels to participate. Kids 2 to 7 can take part in the Fun Run, walkers can choose either the 5k or 10K walk and those who prefer to hit the pavement hard have options of a 5K and 10K run. There is a 10K wheelchair race and various Celebrity Challenges for those who are top-notch athletes. There is also a Remote Runner option for those who want to support the event’s charities but can’t physically participate. CEOs, police and fire fighters, and veterans each have their own competitions to encourage friendly, healthy camaraderie and community support.

The event is sponsored by Applied Materials but was founded and continues to be produced by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, whose mission is to “improve the quality of life in the Silicon Valley through the provision of funding for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education and other basic necessities of life.”

To date, the Turkey Trot has raised $5 million to help five local non-profits that provide families with basic needs of “health, hope and a home”. These organizations are the Healthier Kids Foundation Santa Clara County, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County and The Health Trust. The event’s mission for 2015 is to fund an additional $1 million to benefit these five worthy causes and help those less fortunate families residing in the Silicon Valley.

Race Day is bright and early Thanksgiving morning, November 26th , in downtown San Jose. Packet pick-up kicks off at 6:30am. Or, avoid the hassle of arriving early and battling the crowd by picking up your race bib and t-shirt at the Splunk Expo at Sports Basement Sunnyvale November 20th through the 25th. Each race starts at Santa Clara and Market Streets and concludes at Santa Clara and Delmas Streets. The post-event festival including awards ceremony is held at the Guadalupe River Park Arena Green and the entire event is done and dusted by noon, giving all walkers, runners and onlookers time to head back home for an afternoon of football, family and feasting.

Register online now through 6am on race day. There is no on-site registration so be sure to sign up in advance. Participants are limited to 30,000 ‘trotters’.