Turkey Trot a community event


By Fred Deckert


Only a few races in the Tallahassee area show potential for “big races”, defined here as races approaching or exceeding 1000 runners. Only Springtime 10K and the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot Smorgasbord presently fit that bill. The Jingle Jog has probably drawn 2-3 thousand runners, but it’s more an event than a race. Springtime 10K has the conjunction of the Springtime Tallahassee celebration to help bring in outside runners.

The Turkey Trot Smorgasbord has Thanksgiving Day but also relies on other attractions to interest outsiders. The Turkey Trot has a number of things going for it. First, it features a race for every taste, from the Gobbler 1 mile through 5K, 10K and 15K events. The 10K features Gulf Winds Grand Prix competition and will probably be the premier race. Besides the variety, the event features a flat course and age graded performance for the team events so that all are represented, not just elite runners. Besides the team competitions, there are cash awards to the sponsoring school for the largest number of participants by middle and elementary schools. Combined with family discounts, a no T-shirt option and low fees for the mile, there’s hardly an excuse not to run on Thanksgiving Day.

In addition a preliminary to the main event, the “Reckon Crew” will premiere “Remembering Blue” at the Monticello Opera House on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. On Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. there will be another performance at the Turkey Wing Ding at the Warehouse. Details are in the flyer.

Lest you think this is just about fun, the event also raises money for good causes, including The Refuge House, The Shelter and Kent Vann Partners in Excellence. Besides feeling good about helping them out, you can burn up calories to earn the extra goodies you feast on during Thanksgiving Day.

Race Directors David and Mary Jean Yon are going all out to make this quality event the “Big One” in Tallahassee. Only time will tell if it will be, but everything starts with the locals turning out in force and spreading the word to running friends in the outlying areas. Tallahassee doesn’t have a big reputation as a tourist attraction, but this is one area where we can show what a great place Tallahassee is in the fall of the year.