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Welcome to the Official Site of The Y in Central Maryland Turkey Trot Charity 5K! We are excited to have you join us for this Thanksgiving morning tradition.

Adults, children and families from across the region come together to not only run (or walk, jog, stroll), but to raise funds so that children living in poverty in Central Maryland have access to Y programs that will forever shape their lives.

Thank you for being part of something good on Thanksgiving Morning!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Workout

We hope to see you at one of our centers this weekend, but if not, here is a workout you can do at home with the entire family!

Fundraising: Four Weeks Remain

How's your fundraising going? Have you asked ten friends for $10 each? We ask that every Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K participant aim to raise $100 each to help Give Every Child a Chance. How great would you feel waking up Thanksgiving morning knowing you had taken one more step to help children in Central Maryland?

Some of you are already experts at this and have raised more than $500 each.

What's they key? Asking. People will not give if you do not ask! Most people are scared of asking, but take a deep breathe and just ask your uncle, boss, best friend. It is like jumping into a pool, you want to do it, but you are hesitant and then you jump and wonder why you hesitated in the first place.

Nothing feels better than asking for donation for a worthy cause and then seeing your ask fulfilled.

  • We have great online tools, but follow up with a personal email, phone call, etc.
  • Personal asks make ALL the difference.
  • Thank your donor publicly (if they appreciate that sort of thing)
  • Ask your insurance provider, your dentist, your hair stylist
  • Start big "I really appreciate you agreeing to make a donation. $250 sends a child to preschool for a week, but any amount helps!". You are not asking for $250, but you are giving a point of reference.
  • Do not be discouraged if people do not respond right away. Give it a week and follow up. People get busy.
  • The worst thing that can happen is someone says "no" and the word "no" is better than "what if?"
Not sure how to start, start here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Recipe: Baked Apple Oatmeal

Nothing says "Autumn" like a house filled with the smell of baked apples. Apples are now in season, so their prices have reduced a bit, which makes this an affordable and delicious breakfast (or snack) idea.

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 egg, beat
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3-4 small apples, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine dry ingredients (1-4) in bowl
  3. Mash banana in a separate bowl and add your wet ingredients (5-9)
  4. Mix wet ingredients into dry and mix well
  5. Grease a small baking dish and pour oat mixture in
  6. Top with apples and walnuts
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Check to make sure center is set
  8. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Same 'Ole Song

Music is a huge motivator for many runners. Some prefer the sound of their footsteps, others the words of a podcast, but today's post is for music lovers.

Looking to add some variety to your playlist? Here are some recommendations for new music!

What songs are on your training playlists?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Running with Dogs & Strollers

We live in world of multitasking so it is no surprise that many runners have to run while pushing a stroller and/or holding onto a leash! Since strollers and dogs are welcome at our Y Turkey Trot Charity 5ks we thought we would give you some tips on how to best conquer this challenge.

Running with a Stroller

  1. Start with the correct equipment. It is not safe for you or a child to be running with an umbrella stroller or a travel system stroller. Walking, yes, running no. For running, you will want to invest in a jogging stroller, which provides shock absorption. If you are not going to make running a habit, a full-size stroller can be used for something like a family 5k.
  2. Read your stroller's safety information. Babies should be at least six months old before you take them for a run due to the inability to hold their head up, but please check with a doctor before proceeding.
  3. Have realistic expectations. Set out knowing that it will be challenging to run with a stroller. It will be more difficult to run without swinging your arms and pushing weight up a hill. 
  4. Know your route. We recommend starting somewhere you know and away from high traffic areas.
  5. Use the wrist strap. You do not want the stroller running away from you.
  6. If running in a group, like a 5k, start in the back.
  7. Get out there and do it! There is no time like the present, however far you go today is a success.
Running with a Dog

  1. Get real. Is your dog healthy enough to run with you? Are they well-trained enough? If not, start with short distances.
  2. Get the wiggles out. Play tug, rough house, take a quick walk around the block so that you can start with a calm dog.
  3. Pick a side. What side will you want your dog to stay on? Do not let them weave in front or behind you.
  4. Do not wrap the leash around your wrist. If your dog jerks, you do not want to be pulled over, so hold the leash in your hand.
  5. Warm up. Just like any other run/jog, warm up first.
  6. Train your dog like you would a friend. Is your pup falling behind? Give him some encouragement. Pup panting hard or foaming at the mouth? Let up and walk a bit. Motivate one another.
  7. Take dog bags. You may be running, but you are still responsible for picking up after your pet.
  8. Check their paws. When you are finished check their paws for any raw spots.
  9. Hydrate. Both you and your furry running partner should be sure to drink plenty of water after your run and even a little during.
  10. Have fun!
Image from: http://www.exceptionalcanine.com/

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fundraising: Where Do You Shop?

By fundraising for the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5k you are benefiting the Y's Give Every Child a Chance campaign, which works to improve the lives of children living in poverty through education and compassion.

Over the last couple of weeks we have learned how to share our fundraising pages and then follow up.

This week we are opting to give our social networks a rest and focus on businesses. Here are some step-by-step ideas for how to help the cause.

  1. Make a list of 15 businesses you interact with that you want to ask. For example, do you see a chiropractor or maybe a hair stylist? What about your bank?
  2. Find their mailing addresses.
  3. Using this letter, customize the letter and either mail it or copy it into an email and send to these businesses.
  4. Set a reminder on your calendar (or phone) to follow up with a phone call next week.
Many businesses, even those as large as Target and Lowe's, set aside budget to donate to community members based on requests, so make sure you get your piece of the pie!

We thank you for all you are doing to help change the life of a young child.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Recipe: Simple Roasted Veggies

Make a couple batches of these this weekend and reheat all week long. With so many different flavors, textures and colors, it won't bore your taste buds.


  • Any root veggie you can find.
  • Potatoes of all colors
  • Onions
  • Yams
  • Carrots
  • Butternut squash
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Dice all the veggies and place on a cookie sheet.
  3. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and toss the veggies.
  4. Place in preheated oven and roast for 45-60 minutes. Be sure to toss the veggies periodically. 

Recipe Source

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Do Your Friends a Favor. . .

Often we are uncomfortable asking our friends and family for donations for a cause we believe in. Well ask because you care about them! Not only is fundraising for the Y's Give Every Child a Chance campaign good for your health and the health of children in our community, it is good for the health of the donor! Read on for the details.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Run Forest! Run!

What keeps you going? What keeps you moving forward? Some of us are training for our first 5k, while some of us are training to improve our personal record. Some have to work to schedule time to walk/run due to busy work schedules, children, volunteering, illness, etc. But guess what? Every single one of us is staying motivated and getting out there. Here are some of our favorite resources for motivation!

  1. Remember why you signed up! Are you running for fun? To prove to yourself you can? To do something good for your community? To serve as a great role model for your kids, friends, family?
  2. Wake Up Happy
  3. Dedicate five minutes and YouTube "Running Motivation". Watching others overcome their struggles is great motivation.
  4. Read about running. Love for running is contagious - catch it!
Whatever your motivation - don't forget it. We are eight weeks out and you CAN and you WILL succeed.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Recipe: Smoky Grilled Chicken Pita Flatbreads with Creamy Feta

Take some time this weekend to make a meal with your family. Involve the kids and turn the pita making into a science experiment. Have you ever watched bread rise? Pretty exciting!

Serves about 4Prep Time: 2-24 hours (marinating time)

Total Time: 1.5 hours



  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest freshly grated and juiced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • fresh basil and oregano for topping
  • extra feta crumbles for topping

creamy herbed feta spread
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 8 ounces feta, crumbled
  • 4 roasted garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

whole wheat pita
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for your workspace/kneading
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • canola oil for brushing


  • Add the chicken to a large baking dish or resealable plastic bag. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, vinegar, dill, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. Pour it over the chicken and toss it to coat. Place the dish or bag in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to eat, remove the chicken from the fridge. Heat your grill on the highest setting (I believe ours goes to 750 or 800 degrees F) and grill the chicken until brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove and let cool slightly before shredding.
  • To serve, slather a pita (open-faced) with the feta spread. Top it with the chicken (preferably still warm) and cover in a bunch of herbs, tomatoes and extra feta on top. Devour.

creamy herbed feta spread

  • Place the yogurt in a large bowl and add the feta. Crumble it up with a spoon and stir. Add in the garlic, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper and mix until combined and creamy, breaking down the feta crumbled as you go. I like the make this ahead of time so the flavors really come together.
  • [As a note, I roast the garlic cloves ahead of time or try to have some on hand. To roast a few cloves, peel them then place in a packet of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the foil up and roast at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.]

whole wheat pita

  • Combine the water, yeast and honey in a bowl, stirring once to mix. Let it sit until foamy, about 10 minutes, then stir in the flour and salt. Stir until the dough comes together then use your hands to further bring it together - if it is super sticky, add a bit more flour (I usually add extra all-purpose when needed). Place the dough on a floured surface and knead it with your hands for above 5 minutes. I have kneaded it for a shorter amount of time and it's been fine. Rub oil along the inside of a bowl and place the dough inside, then cover it and set it in a warm place so it can rise. Let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Place the dough back on the floured surface and knead a few times. If it's still sticky, add a few sprinkles of flour with your hands and knead until it's silky smooth. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out as thinly as you can - we are talking super THIN.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with a bit of canola (or another higher heat) oil. Place the thin dough round on the skillet and cook for 30 seconds, just until it starts to bubble. Flip it over and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, it should get puffy and have a few golden spots. Flip over and cook for another minute. Set aside and repeat.