How many of you participated in the runner’s version of food guilt therapy last week, also known as the Turkey Trot? Before I ran, I never gave my local Gobble Hobble a second thought. However, I’ve recently decided that running prior to the Thanksgiving chow down is THE BEST tradition hands down. Why pray tell? It’s because we need to justify allowing ourselves a second slice of pumpkin pie. Maybe we can even splurge on a heaping dollop teaspoon of whipped cream on said pie.
Moment on the lips, forever on the hips be damned because I turkey trotted today.
Of course, there are other reasons to participate in a Thanksgiving race. We runners are philanthropists at heart and every race has a great cause behind it. This time of year, the spirit of gratitude runs high and we may think more about those who are less fortunate that us, those who are unable to run for fun. The Turkey Trot I ran was no different in that respect, but it was different in many other ways. By sharing it with you guys, I thought it might inspire you (and your coworkers, hint, hint) for next Thanksgiving.
On the Saturday before turkey day, the company I work for held their 32nd annual employee 5k turkey trot. It was open to family and friends of the human and canine variety. The registration fee was a mere fifteen dollars, and best of all, it would go to a few selected employees who had faced hardships in 2014. It’s a great event that gets participation from all levels of the company and all levels of running and walking. Employees can participate by running, walking, volunteering to work the race, or by sending in a donation.
The course took runners through the company campus that spans three city blocks. Three loops and you’ve got yourself a 5k. This information will come in handy on my lunch runs! The race was organized very professionally by the volunteer team and included pro bibs, accurate timing and goodies for all after the finish.
We get incentives for creating teams for the race. The largest team gets a trophy plaque, and the fastest team members each get a frozen turkey. Teams can be as small as four people and the largest team this year had 128 members! They make up silly names for themselves, like “Alpacas in Space”. (I don’t even know. I work for an aerospace company. In Boulder. I guess the reference to alpacas is obligatory?) There are age groups which are divided by gender, and same goes for kids. The fastest three adults in each age group get a frozen turkey, and the fastest boy and girl in each age group get one, too. The fastest male in my age group (30 – 39) was 18:36, and the fastest female was 20:24. Amazing! Also, I must accept the fact that I will likely never win a turkey at this race because these people are fast!
There were approximately 450 participants which means we raised just under seven thousand dollars for the recipients. One-sixth of the company was involved in a meaningful, healthy activity that built team spirit and goodwill across the campus. It was a warm way to begin the holiday season with mindfulness of how blessed we are. The CEO was there passing out turkeys to the winners of the race and the raffle, and people entered their dogs in the race to help contribute. I hear these guys are returning champions.
So there ya have it! Seems easy enough, right? If you get yourself a fancy timing clock, some muffins, a few turkeys, and some company merch to raffle off, you too can help your fellow employees with turkey trot proceeds. Seriously though, folks, this is a great idea with pretty minimal output of effort and labor. Now, go forth on this after-holiday-weekend Monday morning when everyone is grumpily facing their food guilt and dazzle your boss with this fabulous idea! They’ll be like:
As for my personal turkey trot success? Ummm, yeah…about that. Here is where I have to confess that I was so full of fail that morning. SO FAIL. I missed the start of the race by 3 minutes (stupid traffic), and I didn’t really read the course map, therefore, I didn’t really know where the finish line was. I missed the “spiel” and just jumped in and followed the other runners as they started their second lap. Safe bet, right? Yeah. Not so much. I never crossed the finish line, instead I made a beeline for the muffins.
But no matter! No matter at all that I was wearing too many layers. No matter that the cold air and my asthmatic lungs don’t play nicely together. No matter that I missed the finish line and had no clue what I was doing! I had fun, and this was a great cold weather test run for the ColderBolder coming up next Saturday.
A special thanks goes out to my husband who is always my personal race photog. He’s the bestest.
What Turkey Trot did you run this Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? Have you ever totally flubbed up a finish? Console me in the comments!