Ample chances to trot off that turkey

Hours before people enjoy their Thanksgiving meal this year, thousands of runners in the Capital Reg

Hours before people enjoy their Thanksgiving meal this year, thousands of runners in the Capital Region will have already run a 5k.

The most popular races are the Troy Turkey Trot, the Chris Dailey Turkey Trot in downtown Saratoga Springs and the Ellis Hospital Cardiac Classic 5k in Schenectady’s Central Park.

The Troy race is the biggest and oldest in the area. This is the 64th running of the 5k race, and the day also includes children’s and 10k runs. Jeff Pirro, the deputy director of public information for the city, said they anticipate about 7,000 people for the entire day.

“The Troy turkey trot is the third-oldest road running race in the country,” he said. “It has grown in reputation as being a quality race.

“This year we’ve got a new race course,” Pirro added. They have opened up the course to make it safer and more comfortable. Changes include the end of a notoriously inconvenient pinwheel turn on the course.

The race in Saratoga Springs is organized by the Christopher Dailey Foundation, which is run by the parents of Chris Dailey, who was 8 when he died 10 years ago.

“We are trying to do things a little differently this year,” said Mark Dailey, Chris’ dad. “In general we’re making a bigger deal about it.”

He characterized this year’s event as a “labor of love” and said that people can expect a little change with the long sleeve T-shirts runners get.

Dailey said that the race is popular with people who are home for vacation and are looking for something to do before their family meal.

Additionally, he said that people get involved because they support the foundation’s charitable work in the community or they’re familiar with Chris’ story. The foundation supports youth sports in Saratoga Springs.

“We almost made 3,000 [runners] last year. We’d love to go up again,” Dailey said.

There are also very competitive runners, including current and former members of the nationally renowned Saratoga Springs High School cross country team, but Dailey said his focus is on attracting families.

“For a lot of people, it’s like the one time they go out and try to master the maddening hill we have on that course,” he said.

In Schenectady, they’re expecting 1,500 people for the Cardiac Classic in Central Park.

Christine Cioffi, chair of the board of trustees at Ellis Medicine, said the event is a chance for the hospital to promote a sense of community. “This is our one event that is a really a grassroots way for the hospital to interface with people,” she said.

The event includes a walk, a fun run and a 5K race, which Cioffi said attracts “everybody from infants being pushed in strollers to grandparents doing the run.”

Cioffi said the race is a popular with people coming home for their vacation and described the park as a wonderful gathering place.

For her own family, she said, there is a simple choice about the race. “The rule in our house is that if you don’t run or volunteer, you don’t get Thanksgiving dinner,” Cioffi said.

Other area races include the 48th annual Cohoes Turkey Trot.

For people who don’t want to run before they eat and are interesting in burning calories on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, there is the fourth annual Run Off That Turkey Trot 5K in Altamont.

The Troy race begins at 9:45 a.m., and you can register online at The Saratoga Springs race begins at 8:30 a.m., and online registration is at Online registration for the 9 a.m. Schenectady race is at

Turkey trots

Ellis Hospital Cardiac Classic 5K: 9 a.m., register in advance at

Chris Dailey Turkey Trot: 8:30 a.m., register by noon on Nov. 23 at

Troy Turkey Trot: 9:45 a.m., register by noon at Nov. 23 at

Categories: Schenectady County

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