Why the Turkey Trot should be part of your holiday tradition…
At the line a group of real Africans shivered in the November morning frost. They were hemmed in by some serious club runners and gangly teenagers in cross country colors.
Back in the middle of the pack I bantered with some old friends. We were surrounded by the mishmash of serious and casual runners that make up the Turkey Trot starting line. Tense club runners with fingers poised over Garmins ready to strike crowed cheek-by-jowl with happy dads and moms in sweatpants and turkey hats.
Such is the great mélange of the Turkey Trot; a seminal event at the end of the racing season that is equal parts competition, celebration and family reunion. You are just as likely to see the crème de la crème setting records as your are to see ‘uncle Bob’ panting red-faced through the finish.
I love the Turkey Trot. I ran two this year. I 5-miler and a 5K. They were both great fun. I love the fact that these races, these events have become a rallying point for the community. They are in the same vein as the old-time firemen’s muster or the town fireworks on the 4th of July.
There is something almost magical about the Turkey Trot. By its very moniker you can tell that this is not an event that you have to take seriously for ‘to trot’ as a verb is akin to ‘waddle’ or meander. When families get together or come together over the Thanksgiving holidays the Turkey Trot is the catalyst for the reunion.
My daughter makes sure I sign her up and it is part of our tradition. It is something we share. It helps strengthen that bond that we always strive to strengthen.
I see my running club-mates with their spouses and their families. Everyone is joining in, munching on apple crisp and hot cups of cocoa. It is a Currier and Ives painting of a New England lost but now recovered.
These spouses and children would not on a normal day join in the racing brouhaha but on these early mornings, with leaves crunching underfoot and frost in the grass it is on the family agenda. It is an intersections point where all are equal in the sport and the sport becomes a celebration, not a sport.
Make the world a better place. Invite someone you love to a Turkey Trot.
And I’ll see you out there.
Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy. Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack. Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com. Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad.
Email me at cyktrussell at Gmail dot com
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