By Katie Smythe

2018 Alexandria Turkey Trot (Photo: Katie Smythe)

The 43rd annual Alexandria Turkey Trot took place on Thanksgiving morning, winding through the streets of Del Ray. The five-mile road race drew about 5,300 participants who braved the cold, breezy day. A new women’s course record was set in this year’s Turkey Trot.

As always, the turkey was one of the main attractions, riding in style in the pace car, cheering on the participants and posing for photos. The turkey, which served as the 2018 Grand Marshal, represented the Virginia Tech Hokies in recognition of the recently announced Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria to support Amazon HQ2.

Chase Weaverling wins 2018 Alexandria Turkey Trot (Photo: Katie Smythe)

The annual event is sponsored and coordinated by the Del Ray Business Association and DC Road Runners Club. The race always attracts a large number of elite runners and members of local area running clubs. What sets the Alexandria race apart from other Turkey Trots is that it is the only five-mile (rather than 5K) race in the area, run on a USATF-certified course.

This year’s overall winner was Chase Weaverling, 22, from Charlottesville, VA with a time of 24:07. Girma Gebre, 25, finished in second place in 24:48, and Landon Peacock, 31, placed third overall in 24:50. The first Alexandrian to finish was Jack Mackey, 19, a former T.C. Williams cross country champion who finished in 11th place with a time of 25:50.

Birtukan Alemu sets new women's course record (Photo: Katie Smythe)

The first woman to cross the finish line was Birtukan Alemu, 29, of Washington, DC, who placed 14th overall. Her time of 26:21 crushed the previous course record set in 2016 by 30 seconds. Maura Linde, 25, finished second in 27:59, and Barb Fallon Wallace, 45, of Alexandria, took third in 29:19. Michael Wardian and his dog Rosie won the doggie category once again. Mattthew Wardian and his pint-size charges won the stroller category. 

Race results are posted on the Alexandria Turkey Trot website.

Winners and race times aside, some of the best memories from the annual Turkey Trot are the costumes – for both two-legged and four-legged participants – and the fun of seeing neighbors, families and friends. Many have long-standing traditions for starting Thanksgiving Day with the Turkey Trot.

An integral part of Thanksgiving is giving to others in need. The Alexandria Turkey Trot benefits ALIVE! through the collection of food items and monetary donations. ALIVE! is a local non-profit organization involving 40 religious congregations and the community working together to assist the most needy in Alexandria. This year ALIVE! received over 2,000 pounds of food and $485 in cash donations plus a $5,000 check from the Del Ray Business Association to support ALIVE!s Food Program.

Continue the Thanksgiving tradition. Start making plans for next year’s Alexandria Turkey Trot.

2018 Alexandria Turkey Trot