Thanksgiving and the Turkey Trot go hand-in-hand in our family. Steve’s brother (and friends) started a little neighborhood turkey trot years ago to raise money for local charities. What started as a neighborhood gathering has grown to so much more. They’ve outgrown the neighborhood retention basin and the last couple years have been held at a local mall. It takes a lot of coordination and a lot of service hours to pull this off and I’m always impressed with how many people jump in to help.
There’s the evening before registration and packet pickup – last year Hallie joined me to help – this year Hallie was still in school so Hunter joined me and helped at registration.
The morning of there’s lots of last minute to-dos. The roads are blocked off – food/water is picked up and fruit is cut – more registration takes place – signage is distributed and hung – sound system is checked – backdrop/stage is set up and then months of planning culminates in the firing of a cannon at the start line.
And we run/walk to support local kids who get food in their backpack for the weekend as well as a charity near and dear to our family – Families Fighting Blindness. We run for our niece who is losing her vision and other kids just like her who are hoping for a cure. We run with family and friends and complete strangers and it’s really quite amazing.
I sat at the finish line for a while photographing runners as the crossed the line and as I saw families running and crossing together I got a little emotional – I love that Thanksgiving brings people together. I loved seeing families helping and pushing each other along and laughing and joking in the process. I loved watching dads push kids in strollers and moms running behind their young independent runners. The atmosphere was joyful and unified. Such a great way to start out our morning (although exhausting in the same breath).
After clean up was complete, we made our way home and prepped for lunch with family. Steve decided to have a little taste test while the turkey was being carved. He approved! 😉
The afternoon was spent in the backyard playing football – exactly as it should be in Steve’s perfect Thanksgiving world! I’m not sure who was happier about playing so long – Steve or Hunter. They stayed outside until the sun went down and you could no longer see the ball.
It was a really good day. I could hardly keep my eyes open at 9pm (which is highly unusual for me) but it was just as good as I had hoped.