~ Written by Elizabeth Yetzer
Crossing the Ford Bridge this morning on my run I noticed the beautiful fall leaves have mostly fallen off the trees, the air was crisp, and I realized we are quickly approaching the season of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year; I love the opportunity to spend time with the people I love and of course eat some delicious food! Thanks to the addition of Jeff (Bekah’s husband and co-owner of Mill City) to our family, running a Turkey Trot has become a family tradition. Although I tend to think of Thanksgiving as a day of relaxing and eating, I have found starting the day with a Turkey Trot is incredibly energizing, rewarding, and an amazing chance to reflect on all that God has blessed me with.
The alarm clock goes off at 6:30 AM. I could dismiss it and decide to sleep in- after all, it is a day off. Instead, I remind myself that I am waking to an “Opportunity Clock” and that I am healthy enough to race a 5K with my family and friends. Until I arrive, I am not completely convinced that I made the right decision, especially when I realize it is below freezing. Once I arrive I am engulfed with an indescribable energy from the crowds of people that have decided to start their Thanksgiving in a similar manner. There is a story for each athlete that steps to the line- some come to the line with an intensity and drive to reach a Personal Best, some come to share an opportunity with family and friends that starts their day in a healthy manner, and some come with the goal of completing their first race.
I have had a variety of Turkey Trot experiences. I hate to admit it, but one of my fastest 5K’s has been in a Turkey Trot- I tend to thrive in low key race environments. On the opposite spectrum, I have also walk/run a 5K with a family friend striving to complete her first 5K. She had recently recovered from Breast Cancer and was determined to start exercising and try to take better care of her body. The last 100 meters of that race are steps that I will never forget. There was such a sense of pride and celebration of life that effused from her, that you couldn’t help but be nearly paralyzed with gratitude. It is a memory I will never forget!
Upon completing any Turkey Trot race the community celebrates each individual’s achievement and leaves with a sense of gratitude that may not be felt if one had stayed in bed. I cannot encourage you more to sign up with family or a friend. There are Turkey Trots throughout the Twin Cities. Below I have a few links to Turkey Trots in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Additionally, there are many throughout the metro and you can search the last link for a race near you. Whether you are looking to improve your fitness, find a healthy way to start your Thanksgiving, or help raise money for a charity, I am sure running a Turkey trot will deepen your sense of gratitude on this day devoted to giving thanks!
· Life Time Fitness Turkey Trot 5K- Downtown Minneapolis- http://www.turkeyday-5k.com/page/show/370479-minneapolis
· St. Paul Turkey Trot- 8 AM- 5k and 10K- Upper Landing Park (by Science museum) http://www.zapevent.com/listactivities.aspx?eventid=3929
· Beast to Feast 5K run and walk- 9AM –Lake Calhoun - http://www.beast2feast.com/
· Drumstick Dash- 10k or 1 mile- Lake Harriet - http://www.drumstickdash10k.com/
· Turkey Day Trail Trot- Battle Creek Trail, St. Paul - http://www.runbattlecreek.org/turkey-day/
· Thanksgiving Day Giving Thanks 5K- Como Lake- http://charitieschallenge.org/html/thanksgiving_day_5k.html
· Other races in the Metro- http://www.runningintheusa.com/Race/List.aspx?Rank=Month&Month=11&State=MN&Page=2