by Caitlin Huston
Before consuming a large Thanksgiving dinner, runners and walkers are invited to burn some calories at the 16th annual Turkey Trot.
Put on by the Cass County YMCA, the Thursday event features a one-mile and a four-mile course that participants can choose to run or walk. The proceeds from the event go towards the YMCA’s Building Strong Kids Campaign, which gives financial assistance for programs and membership.
Both courses begin at 8 a.m. north of the YMCA on Tent Street, with the four-mile course taking a circular route back to the starting point and the one-mile course ending at the YMCA.
Stacy Lods, membership marketing and special events director at the Cass County YMCA, said participants can vary the route with walking and running.
“If somebody wants to run a block, and walk a block, they can,” Lods said.
The event is one of the fundraisers throughout the year for the Building Strong Kids campaign, which gave financial assistance to more than 500 people last year, Lods said.
After participants complete the race, they receive a small meal of bagels and cream cheese and various snacks, according to Nichole Braun, who works at the front desk.
This is the eighth year Braun has volunteered and after watching participants run through ice and snow, she believes there’s hope for good weather this year.
“I think this year we will have the best weather,” Braun said.
Last year, the Turkey Trot had 517 participants, which was a record number, Lods said. She said she hopes to have the same number or more this year.
“With the weather being nice, I hope we hit that number,” Lods said.
She said many of the participants are people coming from out of town to visit their families.
“A lot of the people that come for the Turkey Trot are coming from out of state,” Lods said. “That’s why we hit our numbers.”
The race becomes a Thanksgiving tradition for many people, Lods said, which makes the event like “a big reunion.”
Lods added that the timing of the run can help build up appetites for Thanksgiving dinner.
“I always say that it’s a good way to get your exercise in before the big dinner,” Lods said.
Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT TO GO?
What: 16th annual YMCA Turkey Trot
When: 8 a.m. Thursday
Where: The two courses begin north of the YMCA on Tent Street.
Cost: $12 for the one-mile course or $20 for the four-mile one.
To register: Log on to active.com or visit the Cass County YMCA. Participants can also register before the event Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. in the YMCA gymnasium.