Turkey Trot Frequently Asked Questions

The 2016 YMCA Turkey Trot has reached capacity and is sold out. If you’re not running, you can still make an impact by signing up to be a race day volunteer.

Q. What is the YMCA Turkey Trot?
A. Known to be the oldest consecutively run footrace in North America, the YMCA Turkey Trot is an 8K (4.97 mile) Thanksgiving Day tradition that attracts over 14,000 runners of all ages and abilities to the City of Buffalo each year. To add to the excitement, many participants also choose to run in costumes.

Q: How much is it to register for the race?
A: $35 per person from August 9 thru October 14. $40 per person until November 17 or until the maximum race capacity of 14,000 is met. The non-refundable registration fee includes all online processing fees and a commemorative t-shirt. Registration is available until race capacity (14,000 participants) is met.

Q. What does my registration fee help to support?
A. Your participation in the YMCA Turkey Trot helps to make YMCA programs and services accessible to kids and families who would otherwise be unable to afford them. YMCA Buffalo Niagara is a charitable, community based organization dedicated to strengthening the community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Throughout its history, proceeds raised from the YMCA Turkey Trot have played a vital role in helping youth, families, and seniors access the resources that help them to learn, grow, and thrive.

Q: If I cannot make the race, can I be issued a refund?
A: All registration fees (individual & team) are non-refundable.

Q: If I cannot participate, can someone else run in my place?
A: This is reviewed on a case by case basis and is dependent on the timing.

Q: When and where does packet pick-up take place?
A: Pre-Race packet pick-up is available Monday, November 21 through Wednesday, November 23 at the INDEPENDENT HEALTH FAMILY BRANCH YMCA, located at 150 Tech Drive in Amherst (off of Main Street and Wehrle Drive near the ECC North Campus) November 21 thru 23 between 10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

A. Race Day packet pick-up is also available 7:00-8:30 am at the DELAWARE FAMILY YMCA, 2564 Delaware Avenue in North Buffalo.

Q: Why did race packet pick-up move to a different location?
A: With 14,000 participants, we have outgrown the capacity not only inside, but outside of our Delaware Family YMCA. Moving packet pick-up and the Runners Expo to our Amherst branch offers more parking, easy in and out access, and more space to handle the large capacity of race participants.

Q: I can’t make it to packet pick-up. Can someone else get my packet for me?
A: Yes. You can have someone pick it up for you.

Q: Will there be a Runners Expo this year at packet pick-up?
A: Yes. Runner’s Roost will sponsor this year’s Expo at the Independent Health Family Branch YMCA from Monday, November 21 thru Wednesday, November 23 between 10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Q: When does the race take place?
A: The event is held every Thanksgiving morning. This year’s takes place Thursday, November 24. The starting gun goes off at 9:00 am SHARP!

Q: What is the race route?
A: The race course is point to point covering approximately 5 miles. It starts at Delaware & Tacoma Avenues, travels south on Delaware Avenue through Niagara Square and continues south on Delaware Avenue to Church Street. Runners then turn left on Church and travel to Franklin Street. Runners will turn left on Franklin and take Franklin just past Court St. to the finish line. The route map can be accessed here.

Q: What time should I arrive on the day of the race and where do I check in?
A: At least 1 hour, depending on where you decide to park. If you have your bib number in hand simply head to the start line and line up according to your running ability using the large pace flags along the side of the road. If you were unable to pick up your race packet prior to race day, go to the Delaware YMCA (2564 Delaware Avenue in N. Buffalo) between 7 and 8:30 am to obtain your race bib/number and then head to the start line.

Q: Will there be water handed out anywhere along the course?
A: Water will be available only at the finish line. There will be no water stations along the course.

Q. Is there assistance available if I can’t do the whole course?
A: Yes, there will be a trail bus following the end of the race pack which can transport you to the finish line. A first aid station is also located on the first level of the Convention Center if needed. Paramedics will also be on hand at the finish line to assist as needed.

Q: Will bathroom facilities be available before the race?
A: Port-a-potties are available near the start line at the Delaware Family YMCA on the north side of the building. Bathroom facilities are also available inside the Convention Center and Statler City at the finish.

Q: Can I bring my dog to the race?
A: Animals, shopping carts, rollerblades, and strollers are prohibited on the race course for the safety of everyone involved.

Q. Will there be a Costume Contest again this year?
A. Yes! The contest is held before the race outside the Delaware YMCA just north of the start line. Prospective participants need to check in at the stage (look for the Y logo) no later than 8:30 am to be eligible for consideration. Prizes will be awarded for the best individual and group costume.

Q: Where may I park on race day?
A: Street parking is available as well as in some lots (some lots may require a fee) near both the start and finish lines. MASH Transportation will provide shuttle service to and from the start and finish lines both before and after the race.

Q: Where are the shuttles located and what time do they run?
A: Shuttle buses will run from Pearl Street behind the Convention Center to the North Buffalo Target Plaza parking lot (2626 Delaware Ave.). Pre-race Shuttles run from 7:00-7:45 am; plan to arrive EARLY as lines will be long. Post-race Shuttles run from approximately 10:00 am to 11:45 am.

Q: Where do I go after I cross the finish line?
A: Please join us for our annual post race party and awards ceremony! Our awards ceremony takes place inside the Convention Center where you can also enjoy a live band, refreshments and adult beverages. Our family friendly, alcohol free zone with a DJ and refreshments will be located across the street in the lobby of Statler City.

Q: Do I have to show ID to partake in adult beverages at the Convention Center?
A: Yes. You must be at least 21 and show proper ID to be served alcohol at the post-race party.

Q: What awards are given out for what categories?
A: Awards are determined by gun time for overall and masters winners. Age group winners are determined by chip time. Trophies are awarded to: 1st place overall male and female and 1st place overall male and female masters. Awards are given for 1st through 3rd place male and female in the following age categories: 14 & under, 15 to 19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80 & over.
Team awards are determined by the average combined chip time of all team members. 1st through 3rd place team awards are given for the following categories: four member family team category and four member corporate all comers.

Q: Will there be extra race t-shirts or other YMCA Turkey Trot gear available for purchase?
A: Yes, please visit our online store where you’ll find a variety of YMCA Turkey Trot items from hoodies to magnets!

Q: I’d like to participate in the race as a volunteer. How can I help?
A: If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, click here for more information and to register.

Q: Will there be a food drive for the Food Bank again this year?
A: Yes! We are proud to partner with the WNY Food Bank and Channel 2 to help combat hunger! Please bring two cans (or more!) of non-perishable food items to your local YMCA branch from November 1-30th. You can also drop off your donation when you pick-up your race packet at the Independent Health Family Branch (Nov 21-23). On race day collection bins will be located at the start line, at the Delaware YMCA and at the Convention Center.