Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 2019

2019 Registration – Ray Barbuti Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot

Entre Fee: $2.00 AND a non-perishable food item.


5K Course Map

1-Mile Course Map


The Morris Memorial doors open at 8:30 for registration. The first event, the Youth Mile and Community Walk, begins at 9:30 AM in front of the Morris Memorial. The 5K race will begin at 10 AM. A donation of $2.00 plus a non-perishable food item for the local food pantry is requested

Handmade awards, crafted by the Morris Memorial After School program will be presented in the gym to top finishers in the 5K and Youth Mile races. Registration forms are available at the Morris Memorial on weekdays between 2pm + 6pm, at the top of this page and on the day of the race at the Morris. Questions: please contact Michael West, Morris Memorial Executive Director @ 392-4622.

The Morris Memorial Association announces open registration for the 43rd Annual Ray Barbuti Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. The Turkey Trot, which begins and ends at the Morris Memorial on Park Row in Chatham, has been a fixture in the Chatham community from its inception at the Chatham Fairgrounds by founder Bill McDowell. The course in later years ran from Crellin Park through the streets of Chatham until several years ago when it was moved to the Morris Memorial.

Bill McDowell got the idea for the race from a news article that was written about Ray Barbuti by a local writer. Rather than going to races outside of the Chatham area on Thanksgiving, he thought it would be fun to organize his own. The very first Turkey Trot took place on the horse track at the Chatham Fairgrounds in 1977. Local Chatham High School student and runner, John Stimmel, ran solo in the one mile event and Bill McDowell was the lone participant in the 3-mile race, while two spectators, Ray Barbuti and Coach Ed Knight looked on. Bill happily phoned the race results in to a local radio station declaring himself and the young Mr. Stimmel the winners of the first annual Ray Barbuti Turkey Trot! The rest is history. The race draws most of its entries from the local communities around Chatham. The race features families who have made this event an annual Thanksgiving tradition.

For many years Kim Costigan, a Chatham elementary school teacher, local resident and a neighbor of Mr. Barbuti’s while growing up, has had her fourth grade students create handmade awards to be given to top finishers of the 3 mile event. These coveted awards have become a special part of this time-honored tradition.

The event is named for Ray Barbuti, the 400 meter gold medalist in the 1928 Olympics in Germany, who made his home in Chatham later in life. He lived first on Kinderhook Street in Chatham and later moved to Queechy Lake in Canaan. Mr. Barbuti died at the age of 83 in 1988.

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