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Dallas Trot History

The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot


For fifty years, generations of family and friends have come together to begin their Thanksgiving Day in a fun and healthy way.  From a humble beginning with just over 100 runners, to today, a multi distant event with more than 25,000 participants gathering in the heart of downtown, the Trot has become a Dallas signature event.

The original Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot was held at the Old Fairgrounds back in the early 1940s, but the long string of consecutive years began with the eight-mile race back in 1967 at White Rock Lake.

The unique eight-mile distance was created when the one hundred and seven participants were instructed to run along the shores of White Rock Lake “to the big oak tree and back”. By 1979, the race had become so popular that it was moved to the downtown area to accommodate more runners and to showcase “Big D”.

The 3-mile Fun Run/Walk was added in 1984 to accommodate the increased participation of individuals and families. In 2009 that distance was changed to 5K and the course was certified.

In 2011, the Trot set two records, the 44th Annual Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot has the largest attendance with 36,820 participants and set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as turkeys.  Donning turkey outfits for the annual Trot had become a tradition that many racers had over the years incorporated into the day of fun.  But in 2011, it went to a new level as the on-site official Guinness World Record judge declared a new record was set as 661 people dressed as turkeys.

The Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot is the largest Thanksgiving Day event of its kind in the country, tradition that each year draws people from all over the country and many from across the globe. Even if you’re not a runner or walker, there are fun activities for the whole family to enjoy: kid’s activities, bounce houses, live musical entertainment, and much more

The Dallas YMCA Trot is the undisputed "Way to Begin Thanksgiving Day" providing families with a tradition that grows every year.