Disclaimer: This recap fo the 2020 Virtual Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K contains affiliate links…


Falling Victim and Going Virtual

I learned during the summer that my favorite turkey trot had fallen victim to the pandemic and would be held as a virtual race. Not wanting to miss the 27th Annual Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K and the opportunity to support the education of poverty stricken Ugandan children, I registered for yet another virtual race. Plus, how could I resist this mask-clad turkey logo?

2020 Virtual Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K


About the Race

It’s become a fun tradition for our family to join friends on Thanksgiving morning for one of the Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day races. The event is broken up into a 10K, 5K, and 2K so there’s a distance for everyone!

Here a little information from the race website

Plan to join us virtually for the Ashburn Farm Races, Running for the Students in Uganda Thanksgiving weekend November 26 – November 29!

A virtual race means anyone can participate from any location! Grab your friends and family local and far to join us in our tradition of running/walking from your own front door on Thanksgiving, or during the holiday weekend.

Proceeds from the races continue to educate Ugandan children who live in poverty and are extremely vulnerable, a mission of Crossroads UMC since 1999.


Packet Delivery

With virtual races, packet pickup has become as easy as checking the mail. I am getting quite spoiled having race packets delivered to my mailbox, especially for races when the packet arrives prior to the dates set for running. This year’s race packet included a shirt, neck gaiter, and access to downloading the bib.

This race’s long sleeved unisex cotton shirts are not my favorite, and serve as fantastic throw-away shirts in other races. There is an option to upgrade to a technical shirt for $15, something I’ve never done, but it’s a nice to have the option if you don’t mind spending the extra money.

Cotton race shirt…

2020 Virtual Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K

2020 Virtual Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K


Neck gaiter…

2020 Virtual Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K


Race bib…


Virtual Cheering

Prior to the race, we regularly received updated emails from the race director . Since the race would be run virtually, we had the option to download the RaceJoy app and log into the race to track and receive virtual mile marker announcements, mile split times, music, and virtual cheering.


Thanksgiving Morning, My Chosen Race Day

Wanting to stick with tradition, I planned to run the race on Thanksgiving morning with my son, daughter-in-law, and her mom. We had planned to meet at our house, walk to the start, and run the race course at 9 AM, a little later than the normal 5K start time.

I didn’t take into account that it’s 2020 and whenever possible, this year will throw a curve ball our way. Earlier in the week, I learned that I was exposed to someone who was asymptomatic but had tested positive for COVID (we were both wearing masks while together). During a consultation with my doctor, she recommended that I stay inside and away from others for 14 days from the date of exposure. Alrighty then…

With no other options, I ran the race on my treadmill (affiliate link). Sticking to the plan I put in place in mid-July for making my slow comeback from my spinal injury, the run would include my last set of run/walk intervals before moving on to just running. Had I run the race course with my family, I would have chosen to run without taking walk breaks.


How I Did

I started out a little slower than normal on my walk intervals which affected my first mile split, but eventually figured out the right treadmill speeds for both my running and walking intervals. I finished my race in 29:53 (9:38 pace) and then walked out into our back yard to document my official time with a picture of my Garmin (affiliate link).

I ended with the following reverse splits:

  • • Mile 1 – 10:14
  • • Mile 2 – 9:40
  • • Mile 3 – 9:05
  • • Final .1 mile – 9:01 pace

I finished first in my age group and 33rd out of 151 runners who uploaded their results.


Putting the Race Shirt to Good Use

As I mentioned earlier, I have never been a fan of the long sleeved cotton shirt associated with this race, but this year I really liked the mask-wearing turkey logo. Rather than sticking the shirt in a drawer to be used as a throwaway shirt at a future race, I decided to make it into a pillow. I didn’t have a pillow form so I used loose fiberfill and it turned out a little lumpy, but that’s okay because 2020 has been a little lumpy. 😉


2020 Virtual Ashburn Farm Thanksgiving Day 5K


Final Thoughts

I thought the race director did a great job transitioning this race from a live event to virtual. Even though the race didn’t go according to plan A (a live race) or plan B (running the race course with family), I was happy to settle on plan C and run the race on my treadmill. It was certainly not the fastest race in recent years, but I didn’t have to walk its entirety as I have in all other virtual races this year and I’ll take that as a positive. In 2020 we can use all the positives we can get!


  • • Did you run a Thanksgiving themed race?
  • • If you ran a turkey trot, was it in person or virtual?
  • • If you ran a virtual turkey trot, did you run it on its usual course?