Thanksgiving Is the Most Popular Day to Run, According to Strava

Low Section Of People Running On Road In City
Ana Andrea Wu / EyeEm

Considering it’s based around a big, indulgent meal, Thanksgiving doesn’t exactly have a reputation as a healthy holiday. Between that extra helping of stuffing and a slice (or three) of pumpkin pie, it usually turns into a major cheat day. But new data released by Strava tells a different story: The calorie-heavy holiday is actually a very popular time to run. In both 2016 and 2017, more people laced up and went for a run on Thanksgiving than any other day in the year.

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Although the report may be surprising, the numbers are convincing—no other holiday comes close to turkey day: In 2016, Thanksgiving saw twice as many runs logged on Strava than any other day. In 2017, over 244,000 people tracked activities on Strava during Thanksgiving, 169,900 of which were runs. And we’re not talking about a quick jog around the block, either. On average, Strava users ran about 4.5 miles (probably before scarfing down a big plate of turkey and stuffing).

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Among all 50 states, California had the most runners logging miles last Thanksgiving (41,163), followed by Texas with 16,136. Of course, organized Turkey Trot races are held around the country on Thanksgiving, which may help explain why so many people are tracking runs on the holiday. According to Strava, there are over 10,000 official Turkey Trots held across the United States each year.

So whether you’re going to try to lighten up the calories this year or dive into the unhealthy stuff, it might not hurt to get in a quick run beforehand. You definitely won’t be running alone.

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