Since 2006 Diablo CrossFit has hosted a Totally Unofficial Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. What started as an event for the most dedicated members has turned into an event for the entire community.
Craig Howard, owner of Diablo CrossFit, explained the growth of the event has been in part because of the holiday celebrations. With family traveling from out of state, this event is a good opportunity to bring new people to the Box.
“It started with about eight to 10 people and it has grown to about 120 people last year,” said Howard. “What’s kind of neat is it has turned into a community affair because our members have friends and family coming over for Thanksgiving or in town, so they invite people to join them. It has become this big kind of community event for Diablo.”
CrossFit has a reputation of being intimidating to people who have never given it a try, but an event like a Turkey Trot gives potential members a chance to meet athletes of the Box in a casual environment. Diablo even modifies the Turkey Trot so no one has an excuse not to come.
“CrossFit can be intimidating, and walking into a gym full of fit people that all know each other can be kind of scary,” said Howard. “The Turkey Trot is a non-threatening way to have your friends get to know our community and see how cool our community is and be a part of a neat thing. We even have a stroller route, where moms with kids can get a few miles in before Thanksgiving, too.”
Getting word out about events can be the most important part, and relying solely on word of mouth doesn’t always work. Many Affiliates struggle with what route to take between social media platforms, e-blasts or just using the website. Howard explained at Diablo they share on every platform as much as possible. For weeks they have been posting about the Turkey Trot on their website, but they also aim for other ways to spread the word.
“We have a Facebook group for our members, which I would say covers about 60 percent of our membership, so we created an event in the group and invited everyone to that event,” said Howard. “Then we do a group blast email. Finally, we have a mobile app to register with our classes and in that app we send out a push message about the event. It is also all over our boards in our gym, and our Coaches are encouraged to talk about it frequently.”
Since Thanksgiving is a time to tell others what you are thankful for, Diablo CrossFit takes the chance to share their thanks during the Turkey Trot. “It’s nice to bring everybody together and use that opportunity to say some nice words, thank everyone and show some appreciation to our members for being a part of our community and doing business with us,” said Howard.