Troy Turkey Trot celebrating 100th year, prepares to welcome thousands on Thursday

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The City of Troy is preparing to welcome thousands of runners and spectators for the annual Turkey Trot, which is one of largest in the country.

This year is a big one for the event which is celebrating its 100th year.

Preparations are going on right now for the Troy Turkey Trot. 8,000 runners alone are expected.

This year, it’s marking a very special anniversary, while looking back on its humble beginning.

What we know as the Troy Turkey Trot today, began as the Bald Mountain Marathon in 1916. It was called a marathon even though it only lasted 6.6 miles.

“There were, like, six runners in it,” said Organizer George Regan. “Well, a little more than two. There were like a total of six.”

One of those six, a soldier named Harry Bernstrom from the Watervliet Arsenal, won the race with 25,000 people reportedly filling the sidewalks of the Collar City to watch.

“It started out as a way to support the veterans of World War I,” said Regan.

The annual Thanksgiving Day race took a long break around WWII but, it started back up again in the 1960’s and has run strong ever since.

So, the 100-year-old race is really in its 69th year, but who’s keeping track?

It’s a real history in tradition,” Regan said. “Thanksgiving is a time of family and being thankful for who we are and what we have.”

Regan says 8,000 runners from 37 states and Canada are expected to participate this year, with another 10,000 spectators cheering them on.

The four events include the competitive 5 and 10K runs, the one-mile Turkey Walk and the Grade School Mile. There’s also a costume contest with prizes.

“And just being together in Troy,” Regan added. “If you haven’t run in the Troy Turkey Trot, you have to do it. It’s wonderful. “

If you are coming to the Collar City on Thursday, you will want to be mindful of road closures and security measures.

“We ask that people not bring any bags and leave them unattended,” said Captain Dan DeWolf from the Troy Police Department. “Not to wear any kind of a mask or a costume that’s too bulky that’s going to interfere with the other runners. Things of that nature. Just be smart about it. It’s usually a really fun great time. I expect it’s going to be a great fun time again.”

Online registration ended already, but you can still register in person in the Troy Atrium on the second floor until 6 p.m. Wednesday for all events. Registration for the Turkey Walk is only on Thanksgiving morning until 9:15 a.m.

For a map of which roads are open or closed due to the race, check here.

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