Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, football and food, but the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City would like to make it a time for fitness and philanthropy, too.
On Thursday, the Y hosts its Turkey Trot in downtown, which includes a one-mile fun run, a 5K run and a 5K dog run. Proceeds will benefit Eagle Ridge Institute, an establishment that supports local families and children.
The annual Turkey Trot allows families not only to spend time together, but get an active jump-start to the holiday season.
“This is an event taking place here in the community that encourages people to be active,” said Chris Berry (pictured), sports director at the Edmond YMCA, who noted that Americans generally eat an additional 4,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day.
Partaking in the race as a runner, spectator or volunteer allows participants to focus on something other than the turkey on the table.
“This gives you a chance to start your day with some activity,” Berry said, “without taking time away from family.”
More than 3,000 entrants are expected to participate, with the top male and female victors crowned at the end of the race. Trophies will be awarded to companies and schools who boast the most participants. Every racer will receive a medal and T-shirt.
The race is not exclusively for those looking to compete, but also new runners and those simply wanting to partake in a festive, active, Thanksgiving activity.
“Spectators can expect a supportive and
family environment,” said Emilee Bounds, health and wellness director
and Turkey Trot volunteer coordinator. “For many participants, this will
be their first 5K, and we want to cheer them along as much as possible.
Doing a 5K for the first time is a great accomplishment, and it’s not
about how fast you finish, but that you finish.”
race will differ from previous ones with the addition of the dog run.
Only one pooch is allowed per registered runner, and each pet will
receive a Turkey Trot bandana.
“This is perfect for dog-lovers to get a nice run in with their best friend,” Bounds said.
Photo by Mark Hancock