Arlington, VA – Arlington Magazine readers have voted the Arlington Turkey Trot the best local race for 2019. The “Trot” as it is often referred to, is truly an Arlington tradition which offers individuals and families the opportunity to walk or run a 5K race every Thanksgiving morning before the holiday festivities begin. Many participants dress up for the annual event, wearing everything from turkeys on their heads to Santa Claus costumes. They come in all ages and sizes, including toddlers in strollers and canine running companions.
But, the Arlington Turkey Trot is much more than a fun neighborhood race held each Thanksgiving in Lyon Park. It’s a way to give thanks each year and help those who are struggling right here in our community. Proceeds from the race help Arlington neighbors in need from all walks of life, like working men and women who needs supplemental groceries to keep their families fed or the homeless family who needs temporary shelter until they can get “back on their feet.” Some individuals need help with rent money in order to avoid eviction, while others need help setting up an apartment so they can regain their independence and contribute again to our community. Some are trying to “regain their footing” after serving jail time and need assistance with finding a place to live and securing employment. And, some consist of youth in our community who have “lost their way” and need an organization to help them grow in their faith through study, service, and leadership. These critical services are provided by the following charitable beneficiaries: Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington Thrive, Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN), Bridges to Independence, Offender Aid and Restoration, and Young Life South Arlington.
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The Trot was founded in 2006 by Pastor Brian Webster who came to our community to lead Christ Church of Arlington and set his sights and heart on reaching out to the community to assist the poor and needy—those in search of a friend, good food, child care—a place to call home. Over the course of 13 years, the race has generated over $775,000 to help Arlington County residents in need. The first race in 2006 attracted 300 runners, joggers, walkers and strollers and raised $4,200 to help those in need. Now, thirteen years later, the Trot attracted over 4,000 participants and raised over $120,000 this past Thanksgiving Day for those who need a “hand up.” The lead sponsors for this year’s race were Radley Acura and Virginia Premier. To learn more about the race, charitable beneficiaries, and sponsors, please visit https://www.arlingtonvaturkeytrot.org/