Let’s Talk Turkey Trot
On Thanksgiving morning, before the stuffed turkey, football or
Christmas tree search, the Hospitality House of Boone is hosting its second annual 5K Turkey Trot to
benefit those in crisis, poverty and homelessness.
“Studies have shown that Thanksgiving morning is the morning, the one day of the year, that more people want to do something good for somebody else than any other day of the year,” Todd Carter, director of development at the Hospitality House, said. “This is the perfect avenue to do that. And you have room for a second helping at dinner.”
The Turkey Trot begins at 9 a.m. at the Boone Greenway Trail at Clawson-Burnley Park in Boone. Adult registration is $25 and includes a long-sleeved Turkey Trot T-shirt. Registration for kids younger than 12 is $5 and includes a Turkey Trot sticker. If kids would like a T-shirt, they can register as adults. Parking is at the Watauga Parks and Recreation lot on Hunting Hills Lane.
Online pre-registration will be open at http://www.hospitalityhouseofboone.org until Nov. 18. Mail-in pre-registration slips can be found at Earth Fare, Mast General Store, Pepper’s and Higher Grounds in Boone, and Mountain Outfitters and Bohemia in West Jefferson. On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with cash, check and credit cards accepted and T-shirts on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Those who have pre-registered can pick up their packet and T-shirt from Nov. 17 to 20, from 1 to 5 p.m., at the Hospitality House, located at 338 Brook Hollow Road in Boone.
Competitive timed runners will lead the 5K (3.1-mile) race, with casual runners, joggers and walkers immediately behind. Wheelchairs, families, leashed pets and strollers are welcome, and all are invited to dress up.
Pumpkin pies will be gives as prizes to the first, second and third places in men and women’s categories.
Food donation bins for canned goods, boxed goods and dry goods, like coffee, sugar, tea and bread, will be located at the picnic shelters beside the start and finish of the race.
Live music will serve to inspire the runners, along with raffle prizes, bananas and granola bars from Earth Fare, bagels from Mountain Bagels and hot apple cider from Dougherty Realty. Live remote radio from WATA 1450 AM will be on-site to broadcast the event.
Appalachian State University track and field director John Weaver designed the Trot course. It follows the Greenway trail and incorporates a couple of loops, the same path used for University 5K training.
Nightly, 1,200 are homeless in the seven-county High Country region, so organizers say the race will be held regardless of rain or snow. Snow plows will clear the trail, and bridges will be de-iced, if necessary.
Last year, the run garnered 800 pounds of food, $14,000 in proceeds, and hosted 450 people, representing nine states. This year, Carter is planning for 600 people. He said that people from 11 states, more than 20 North Carolina cities and surrounding track teams are among the 150 who have already registered.
“I’ve had people tell me that it’s their new family tradition,” Carter said. “Someone told me last year that it’s the most picturesque 5K they’ve ever run.”
Benefit runs of this kind are in their 101st year, with the first held in Cincinnati, Carter said. In the U.S., Thanksgiving fundraiser runs take place from Charlotte and Chapel Hill to Washington D.C. and Denver.
“The goal has always been to make this a signature event in the High Country,” Carter said.
Hearts of Hospitality, the ambassador group for Hospitality House, is organizing the event, with all proceeds benefiting the Hospitality House. According to Carter, its Bread of Life Community Kitchen served 12,300 meals in October.
The Hospitality House has provided, operated, administered and directed housing, shelter, food and social programs for those in need since 1985.
Organizers are still welcoming sponsors, who can sign up on the Hospitality House website.
This year’s Turkey Trot is sponsored by Deep Gap Ruritan, Boone Dermatology, Boone Pediatric Dentistry, Bridgeman Dental, Pet Prairie Dog Retreat, Mountain City Alternative Health, Pepper’s and Casa Rustica.
For more information, contact Carter at the Hospitality House at (828) 264-1237 or visit http://www.hospitalityhouseofboone.org.