A Mostly Inaccurate History of Turkey Trots

In 1493, Christopher Columbus searched for a way to commemorate his first year in the New World. When one crisp November morning he awoke in Hispaniola, proclaiming, "I've got a great idea! We shall have an annual Autumnal athletic event!" 

"Hey, I hate to interrupt," cautioned a local Arawak chieftain. "But, this sort of thing has already been happening in the area for a while. I mean, you can't just say it was your idea when it has existed here for at least a decade."



"No, it's my idea! I just came up with it!" Columbus insisted. "Also, I just discovered lacrosse, too!"

"'Discovered?'" The Arawak chieftain asked. "Don't you think you're maybe wearing that word out a little bit, Chris?"   

Columbus climbed down off his high chair, put his arm around the Arawak chieftain's shoulder, and said, "Hey, man. Can I talk to you over here for a second?"


In the year 1621, the great Pokanoket sachem Massasoit traveled with ninety of his men to the Plymouth Colony for the first Thanksgiving feast. Recently discovered documents indicate that before they ate, Massasoit stood before the hushed crowd and proclaimed, "This food looks rad, you guys, and I'm really, really stoked to eat upon it. But before we do, shouldn't we first run like 2 miles around the neighborhood or something?"

"Bro!" called out Myles Standish of the Plymouth Colony. "Can we run in costumes?"

"Um, yeah, sure," replied Massasoit. "As long as you guys promise not to eventually steal our land and use our likeness for sporting mascots."

"Deal!" They cried out in unison before lacing up their Asics.


In the year 1775, Israel Putnam led his band of Revolutionary soldiers north along the Connecticut coastline, all the while being pursued by King George's Hessian army from the south. It would be a long winter and spirits were low. Old Put said to his men, "Let us stop here for the night. And in the morning, we will run around this peninsula dressed as heathens."

"Will there be considerations for best entrance?" one of the men cried out.

"Sure," said Putnam. "But, you know, please don't show up like 30 seconds before the race starts. By the way, what are you guys going as?"

"Oh, we can't tell you," the soldier cried back. "You're the organizer. You can't know."


In 1863, struggling to keep a fractured nation together, Abraham Lincoln declared a day of national Thanksgiving. "Wouldn't it really be something," Abe pondered to his Secretary of State, Seward, "if we could make a big show of reunion."

"That would have to be something big," replied Seward.

"I'm saying," said Lincoln. "Maybe like a sporting event."

"What do you have in mind?" asked Seward.

"Shit, I don't know, bro," Lincoln pondered. "Does football exist yet?"

"I'm afraid not yet, Mr. President," said Seward.


In 1958, during the height of the cold war, President Eisenhower sought to encourage cardiovascular activity in the electorate, while at the same time keeping fear at an absolute high. "If only they could exercise inside their bomb shelters," thought the 34th President.

But the costs of providing every fallout shelter in the country with treadmills were prohibitively expensive. And so in a showing of great compassion for his repressed citizenry, Ike said, "Why doesn't everyone go for a run before the Lions game or something?

"But, you know, get back to ducking and covering just as soon as you're done," he concluded.


In November of 2001, Johanna Hynes went to wake up her little brother for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner run. 'There ought to be more traditions,' she quite possibly thought to herself.

"Thomas, I need you to wake up and go running with Lizzy and me this morning. I know you were out late last night. I know you're probably hungover. But I really NEED you to do this. It's really so important to me."

And so the Trot began!



In a blessed and joyous development, the Best Costume award of 2025 is shared by all Turkey Trot participants! 

Earlier in that same year, Grandfather Trump's costume ban outlawed all but one legally viable ensemble for the people to wear.

Still, all citizens assembled that day under Grandfather Trump's benevolent sunshine agreed that the trotters looked great in their matching rubber Hillary Clinton masks and prison-striped track suits, shouting "Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!" even hours after their voices grew hoarse! 

Shippan Turkey Trot's Press

The Turkey Trot has always been a local favorite. But, did you know we've also been featured in the press?! Click around below to see what the media has had to say about Stamford's original Turkey Trot.

Discover Stamford - 2018

Hey Stamford! - 2017

Stamford Advocate - 2016

Hey Stamford! - 2015

Stamford Advocate -- 2015

It'sRelevant- 2014

Stamford Notes - - 2012

Streets of Stamford- 2012  

The Daily Stamford - - 2011

Stamford Advocate- 2010

And a little paper called the New York Times....- (seventh paragraph) 2011

22 Turkey Facts You WIll NOT Believe!

  1. Male turkeys are called "gobblers" and female turkeys are called "hens"
  2. It is rumored that Harry Truman could carve the likeness of anyone's face into a cooked turkey, from memory 
  3. A group of turkeys is known as a rafter or a gang
  4.  While most turkeys don't understand spoken languages, they do understand the language of dance
  5. Male turkeys produce spiral-shaped feces while females produce feces shaped like the letter J
  6. Through two thirds of the process, turducken sounds like a very good idea to most turkeys
  7. Turkeys and cockroaches are the only two animals thought capable of surviving nuclear war
  8. Benjamin Franklin never actually proposed the turkey as the national bird
  9. But he was engaged to one briefly in 1745
  10. During mating season, a male turkey's gobbles can be made to mimic "Smooth Operator" by Sade
  11. And the lady turkeys love this
  12. Turkeys can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and fly as fast as 55 miles per hour
  13. However, turkeys are NOT allowed to drive in most states
  14. Turkeys are protective of their eggs, making the gathering more challenging
  15. Turkey was originally served on Thanksgiving to commemorate the Pilgrims and Native Americans shared fear of the Ottoman Empire
  16. A turkey's head changes colors when they become excited
  17. Gobbling turkeys can be heard up to a mile away
  18. But, it's when you can't hear a thing that they are the most dangerous
  19. Turkeys will have 3,500 feathers at maturity
  20. Turkey meat is accepted as legal tender at most post offices throughout the month of November
  21. The wild turkey was hunted nearly to extinction in the early 1900s, when the population reached a low of around 30,000 birds
  22. They're still pretty pissed about this.