About Turkey Dash Charlotte

In its eleventh year, the 2023 Turkey Dash Charlotte was once again held at The Village at Robinson Farm in Charlotte, NC on a gorgeous Thanksgiving morning with near perfect racing weather. The 2023 race benefitted Changing Lives Together.

From their website:

This year, Turkey Dash is honored to support Changing Lives Together (CLT) Foundation as our Charity Partner. Their mission is to enrich and change the lives of special needs kids and kids with life-altering medical circumstances, right here in Charlotte!


Registering for Turkey Dash Charlotte AND the Raleigh Turkey Trot

After making plans to spend Thanksgiving with our son and daughter-in-law in their new home in Charlotte, I registered for the local turkey trot after receiving an email promoting the event. Or so I thought… It wasn’t until I sent my confirmation email to my son that he replied, “MOM!!! We live in Charlotte!” Oops, I’d registered for the wrong race and in the wrong North Carolina town, Raleigh rather than Charlotte. In my defense, I assumed I was receiving the turkey trot email because I’d run the race in 2019.

By the time I signed up for the correct race I had to pay a late registration few and between the two races, I spent $83.31 on turkey trots. Oh well, I hope more that a few cents of my Raleigh registration went to the MS Society. I didn’t ask for a refund, but instead asked if they would mail my shirt which was a nice long sleeved women’s cut tech shirt. They refused…


Packet Pickup

Packet pickup was held in front of Cabo Fish Taco on Community House Road in Ballentyne, NC. Shortly after arriving at our son and d-i-l’s house, we picked up our shirts and bibs. The line was long when we arrived, but it moved quickly.

The shirt is unisex and we all know how I feel about unisex shirts; however, the fabric is amazingly soft and the neckline isn’t too terribly high and uncomfortable so I’m sure I’ll wear it.


Shirt front…


Shirt back…


Getting Ready to Run

We arrived at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church and parked in their parking lot just after 8 for our 8:30 AM race. It was a short walk to The Village at Robinson Farm where the race festivities were already going strong. We started with a group photo with my d-i-l’s parents and brother and then made our way to the porta potties.


It was about that time that I noticed that I felt really parched – like cotton mouth dehydrated. I had planned ahead and brought a bottle of water from home to have to sip on before the race, but had forgotten and left it at my son’s house. I looked around, but didn’t see any at the post-race refreshment table so I could only hope there’d be a water stop along the course.

This year I sported my turkey capris (affiliate link) and new Thanksgiving themed t-shirt (affiliate link). Even though the shirt is 100% cotton, it was too cute to pass up. I hoped that the weather would be cool enough that I’d be able to tolerate a non-technical shirt and with the temperature staying between 45° and 47° it worked just fine.


About five minutes before race time, we made our way into the starting corral. There were no pace signs so we placed ourselves near the middle and probably a little too far back because we had to weave our way past a few walkers early in the race.


Runners behind us…


Runners in front of us…


And We’re Off!

With a reverse countdown, at 8:30 AM we were sent on our way, but it took us over a minute to make our way to the start line as the crowd funneled under the arch.


The Course

I’d describe the course as relatively easy with a few rolling hills. According to my Garmin (affiliate link), we only had an elevation gain of 140 feet.


The First Mile

The first mile was the flattest mile of the race and I finished it with a time of 9:06, running faster than I’d run in weeks, but much slower than my normal race pace. I also warmed up enough during the first mile to shed my jacket and gloves.


Moving on to Mile 2

I was thrilled to see a water stop 1.78 miles into the course and came to a full stop while drinking two cups of water…


After a bit of down hill running, we started a steady climb as we approached the 2-mile marker. I finished my second mile with a time of 9:19


Continuing Along Mile 3

The third mile started with a short continuation of the aforementioned hill. As I approached the top of the hill I slowed to a very brief walk, but then reminded myself that if I walked, I not be happy with the decision later.

After some rolling hills we turned right just as we came upon the mile marker, but I didn’t get my phone out in time to take a picture of the marker. The earlier hill and the short walk definitely had an effect on my time because I finished the third mile in 9:45.


Mile 4, Say What? This Isn’t a 5K?

When we got to the 3.1-mile point, I couldn’t help but take a picture of my watch because normally I’d be wrapping up my local 5K turkey trot at this point. The nice little down hill felt good, but I didn’t have it in me to speed up the pace much and I finished the forth mile in 9:28.


Rounding the Corner to the Finish Line

As I approached the final turn into The Village at Robinson Farm, I stopped to take a picture and kept my phone out for a picture of the chute leading to the finish line.

I scanned the crowd looking for my son or d-i-l who might be taking pictures, but didn’t see either. As it turned out, my d-i-l had finished first and was on the right side taking pictures.

I didn’t exactly sprint it in, and ran the final section at a 9:23 pace.


My official time was 38:15 (9:34 pace) and 3rd out of 27 in my 60-69 year old age group. Finishing 1st and 2nd were 61 and 63 year olds, respectively; so had there been a 65-69 year old age group…

In lieu of age group awards, the race organizers made donations in our honor to a local charity, a wonderful gesture on Thanksgiving.

According to my watch, I didn’t run my tangents perfectly because my Garmin showed 4.05 miles at 37:58 (9:23 pace).

  • Mile 1 – 9:06
  • Mile 2 – 9:19
  • Mile 3 – 9:45
  • Mile 4 – 9:28
  • Final .05 mile – 9:23 pace


Once I crossed the finish line I found my son and d-i-l who had finished a couple of minutes before me. We made our way to the post-race refreshments table to grab water, but skipped the food.


Shoutout to the Winners

Finishing while I was just starting my third mile was 24-year-old Murphy Smith of Charlotte, NC winning the race with a time of 20:59 (5:15 pace). Winning the women’s division was 23-year-old Maria Brumfield of Matthews, NC in 27:08 (6:48 pace). Congrats to both!

As soon as we crossed the finish line, our race results were texted to us.


Excuses, Excuses or “About My Training”

Now that I’m older I’ve noticed a significant reduction in recovery time after long or high intensity cardio workouts. In early spring as cycling season started back up, I made the tough decision to cut my running to one day a week. Cycling would be my primary focus for the summer and fall, and when it got too cold or icy to ride, I’d switch over to running being my main sport.

As a result, I’ve only run 3 to 4 miles most weeks and always at conversation pace. Needless to say, my training was lackluster and it showed. And surprisingly, my quads felt like I’d raced a marathon… I’m talking walking down the stairs backwards sore!


Final Thoughts on Turkey Dash Charlotte

As in past years, running a race to start Thanksgiving was a given. Returning to run this well organized and turkey trot with family was fun and being slightly familiar with the course made it all the better. If you live in the Charlotte, NC area and are looking for a fun way to start your Thanksgiving morning, give this race a try. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did!


  • • Did you run a race on Thanksgiving morning? ~ Yes, it’s been a family tradition for years.
  • • Do your wear themed outfits or colors for holiday races? ~ Yes
  • • How did you celebrate Thanksgiving? ~ We traveled to celebrate first with my mom the first half of the week, and then with our son, d-i-l, and her family the second half.


Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a small commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.