The 36th Annual McCarthy Bush YMCA Turkey Trot is ready to fly Thanksgiving morning in downtown Davenport.

“We’ve got a real buzz with thousands of people ready to flock downtown for another great YMCA Turkey Trot,” Luis Leal, Turkey Trot Race Director for the YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley, said in a Wednesday release. “I’ve spoken to hundreds of people whose family traditions depend on getting together and coming downtown for a nice run or walk before the big Thanksgiving Day meal.”

A couple turkeys work out at the YMCA in a Turkey Trot promo video.

Registration for the Turkey Trot is currently open online at the YMCA website until 8:45 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. Packet pick-up is at the Bittner YMCA at 630 E. 4th St. from 10am to 7pm today, and tomorrow, Thanksgiving morning, until 8:45.

The YMCA Turkey Trot takes place Thursday morning at the new Bittner YMCA on East 4th Street in downtown Davenport. The 200-yard, 400-yd and 1-mile events begin at 8:30 a.m. The 5K and 5-mile events take off at 9 a.m.

The course mirrors many previous years’ layout, beginning on East 4th Street and heading west to Main Street, then north up, around and through Vander Veer Park, and back down Main before finishing at the same location between the YMCA and the Quad-City Times. The 5K course turns around before the park just north of Locust Street.

Thanks to lead sponsors McCarthy Bush, Rhythm City Resort Casino, UnityPoint Health and Iowa American Water, who cover the operations of the event, all registrations go directly to the cause of supporting area children in early learning programs, students in summer camp, teens in mentoring programs, and families and seniors who are able to participate with YMCA memberships and classes.

You can register for the fundraiser until 8:45 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.

“It’s really awesome seeing how the Turkey Trot not only ties together our entire regional community, but the entire mission of the YMCA,” said Leal. “Coming out if the pandemic, we’ve seen such an increased need for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and experience healthy activities.

“We had a record number of scholarships for summer camp. Over 20% of our family memberships are receiving assistance and 60% of our families participating in early learning and childcare only do so because of the support of events like the Turkey Trot,” he said.

Since it began in 1986, over 63,000 registrations have made the Turkey Trot the YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley’s top fundraiser. Over $2.3 million has been generated in direct support of local kids and families who need it the most. 

For more information and to register, visit ymcaimv.org.