Every November, the Celiac Disease Foundation hosts our annual Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run/Walk, an inspirational, in-person event that raises funds for celiac disease research to accelerate treatments and a cure. The past two years, to ensure the safety of all involved amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation transitioned to a virtual event in the form of a Turkey Trot Virtual Cross-Country Challenge.

On November 13 and 14, more than 2,000 supporters from 45 states and five countries laced up to move 3.1 miles (5K) “across the country” for a cure. Mapped on the Walker Tracker app as a cross-country route, participants’ steps were applied to the map, appearing as if they were traveling from coast-to-coast. Along the route, participants passed through four landmarks, unlocking special sponsor offers and coupons at each one. Trotters began in New York and continued to pass through Chicago and Denver before ending at the Celiac Disease Foundation headquarters in Los Angeles.

The virtual style of the event allowed Trotters to participate from anywhere and choose their own health adventure of any physical activity, including walking/running, mini-golf, ping pong, yoga, gardening, and more, that counted as “steps” toward the 3.1 mile goal. Each participant received an event t-shirt and bandana, with the option of a matching bandana for their pet, as well as a fundraising page, bib, race marker kit, finishing certificate, and more.

"As Celiac Disease Foundation Board Chair, I was proud to trot for my son Alex and all those affected by celiac disease. I was inspired seeing Alex’s baseball team come together for a flag football game to support him and raise funds to continue the Foundation’s mission to bring an end to the suffering caused by celiac disease through medical research, patient and healthcare provider education, and public policy advocacy." -Adrienne Bender

Beginning on Long Island five years ago with just over 100 people, the Turkey Trot is a beloved event that continues to grow and empower our community while cultivating lasting relationships. Creating virtual teams with friends and family across the nation expanded the Foundation’s reach beyond state borders and strengthened our community. The Celiac Disease Foundation is proud to have hosted this monumental virtual event that united the celiac disease community in a unified mission to raise more than $200,000 for celiac disease research. Thank you to all the participants, sponsors, and donors who made this event a success for raising funds and awareness for celiac disease. We invite you to view photos from our Cross-Country Challenge weekend here and view the highlight reel here. Our sincerest gratitude and congratulations to everyone for their tremendous fundraising efforts, and a special thank you to the first place individual and team fundraiser, Zoey Kornblau, the second place individual and team fundraiser, Gabrielle Saft, the third place individual and team fundraiser, Jack Resin, the fourth place team fundraiser, Sienna Kirshman, the fourth place individual fundraiser and fifth place team fundraiser, Sarah Jones, and the fifth place individual fundraiser, Emmy Stern.

We greatly appreciate the support of our Turkey Trot Sponsors: Glutenostics, Crunchmaster, EpiLynx by Dr. Liia, BFree, Mikey’s, Thrive Market, Little Northern Bakehouse, Jones Dairy Farm, Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur, Jessica’s Natural Foods, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, First 5 LA, UBS, Fody, Kinnikinnick, Crown Prince, Tiger Corp, Rue Insurance, Gem City, Jovial, Steiner’s, SQZ, and Caulipower.

Didn’t get to participate in this year’s Turkey Trot? Donate to the event, an individual’s fundraising page, or a team’s fundraising page here through November 26, 2021 to make an immediate impact on accelerating celiac disease research. Many employers offer a matching gift program, providing the chance to double, or even triple, the impact of your gift. See if your company will match your donation here.

Do you want to get involved in raising awareness and funds for celiac disease in your community? Learn more about Team Gluten-Free and make a difference today.