art. festivals. culture. day trips. hidden gems.
Families wear matching shirts made just for the occasion.
Others sport T-shirts from previous Turkey Chase races. One
year, someone came dressed as a chef and carried a stuffed
turkey on a platter.
For many runners, the Turkey Chase in Bethesda has become
a tradition. “It’s just what you do on Thanksgiving,” says Karen
Kirwan of Bethesda, who has been running the race with her
family for more than 15 years.
The Turkey Chase, a fundraiser for the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club,
draws about 9,000 runners across four races—a 10K, 2-mile,
1K and 50-meter—making it the largest race in Montgomery
County, says Carla Larrick, who co-founded the event in 1982
and is vice president of operations for the YMCA Bethesda-
The throngs of runners chase turkey mascots who ride in
a car or truck for the two longer races and are on foot for the
others. The 10K winds through the neighborhood near the
YMCA, south on Wisconsin Avenue to Old Georgetown Road
and back to the YMCA. Everything wraps up by 10: 30 a.m.,
allowing runners to get home in time for feasts and football.
The 35th annual Turkey Chase is Nov. 23. Races start and finish at the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase. The 10K is $46 through
Nov. 22; $52 on race day. The other races are $10-$21.
A THANKSGIVING TRADITION
—Kathleen Seiler Neary