It's one of the best running traditions my friends, family and I have. We start out Thanksgiving morning with a run. I've run a 'Turkey Trot' on Thanksgiving morning for about as long as I remember. I have related the story of winning a turkey in one of those races as an 8 year old in this space before. I believe that officially kicked off my running career.
Even though I have often worked later in the day on Thanksgiving (the news never sleeps), it's still a great way to start the day. And as I think of the things I am thankful for year after year, the freedom and ability to run ranks right up there near the top. You know, after God and family and stuff like that.
But really, November is generally a month I wind down a little, stretching into December through the end of the year. It's the 'off-season'. Some might suggest I never had an 'on-season this year, but again, I digress. In any case, I don't put any pressure or expectations on running a fast Turkey Trot. I just like having a brisk run in a race atmosphere to help compensate for the numerous helpings of Turkey I generally heap onto my plate later in the day!
Since moving to Elmhurst a few years ago, the Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot has become my race of choice. It's a great community event that brings out serious runners, walkers, and everyone in between. It's also in it's 27th year and has become quite a tradition. For many of my non-running friends in town, it's the only run they do every year.
There area plenty of other great races on Thanksgiving morning. Several I've seen or run include the ones in Lincoln Park, Edison Park, the North Shore, Naperville, and Schaumburg. I'm sure there are many, many more I'm not even aware of.
But the common theme among many of these races is the charity aspect. Most raise money and/or donations for the needy. Food Pantries are often the biggest recipients. And on Thanksgiving, there is no more appropriate way to help other people than that, on a day when many of us will celebrate the excesses we enjoy, it's nice to help others enjoy a nice meal.
So this year, I thought I would mention a couple of runs that are not big, commercial races that also have big entry fees. One of them is sponsored by my friend Mark Buciak, and it begins and ends at Old St. Pat's Church in the West Loop. Another was the idea of my friend Dave Wallach. It takes place on Friday, after Thanksgiving. Details on both are below.
Have a great Thanksgiving, and I'll see you on the roads....
Walkers, strollers, joggers, runners, and turkeys to
our informal noncompetitive Turkey Trot.
DATE: Thanksgiving Morning, Nov. 25, 2010
Check-in: 7:45 a.m. TROT: 8 a.m. MASS: 10 a.m.
Front stairs of Old St. Pat’s —
the corner of Adams Street & Des Plaines Avenue.
Come dressed ready to trot!
Why pay $30 for another unwanted T-shirt when all you want to do is run some fun miles with friends? Please join us.
If you have any questions, please contact Mark Buciak
at 773.307.0033, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Friday November 26, 2010
Time: Meet at 3:00, start running at 3:30
Place: Start at Fleet Feet Sports - Piper's Alley, 1620 N. Wells St., Chicago
The course head north along the running path towards Fullerton Ave and return.
Maps will be provided on the day of the event.
Ways to Give Back:
Bring a can of Food for the Greater Chicago Food Depository
Your Can of food will also get you an additional 10% your Black Friday Purchase at Fleet Feet Sports
Bring a old race t-shirt for St. Vincent DePaul
Bring gently used shoes for Share Your Soles
Check out Fleet Feet's Facebook page for all the important details about this really fun event! And don't forget that you can join us at Casey Moran's in Wrigleyville for food and fun after the race. Come run, come eat, come do whatever you like -- just make sure you help out those in need this Thanksgiving.