I don’t come from a running family. I don’t mean that I am the only person in my family that has ever run. Most of my siblings ran cross-country or track in high school but none of them, parents included, would ever classify themselves as “runner” in the same way that I do. So when I talk about my tradition of running a race on Thanksgiving Day morning, the only way my family that is involved is the tradition that my family can’t count on me for help with cooking and cleaning on Thanksgiving Day. Instead, I wake up early, put on my shortest shorts (I actually can’t remember where this part of the tradition comes from, it’s just something that I have always done!), a long sleeve, a singlet, a beanie, and hit the closest Turkey Trot around.
I remember one year I was running at my local race when a friend of mine wore a giant Russian hat to stay warm. The ironic thing was what else he had on. I don’t exactly consider split shorts and a singlet the best clothing for a temperature of 18 degrees, but I guess when your hat consumed an entire bolt of fabric to make, you can wear whatever else you want and you will stay warm.
Why would I prefer to spend my morning without my family, you may ask? Aside from the fact that my cooking skills are nearly non-existent and I get kicked out of the kitchen each time I do try to help out, I am a runner. I know that the number of calories burned during a 5k could never compensate for the number of calories consumed throughout the day, especially since I am addicted to peach and apple pie, but there is something about a community sharing a day for family and friends with their neighbors that warms me to the core and puts a smile on my face.
This year, one of my sisters has invited me to her house in San Antonio for Thanksgiving. My sister actually knows me so well that instead of inviting me for food and family, she first invited me to run the local 4 mile Turkey Run in her neighborhood. She explained that she had been training since May for it and really wanted to be a part of my tradition. Oh, and of course we will be eating turkey and pie later to make up for the calories we burn during that run!
If you are looking to include a Turkey Day Trot in your Thanksgiving Day plans, here are some suggestions. I have marked those that our staff has participated in with *.
Salt Lake County:
Mill Creek Cold Turkey 6k Run
*City Creek Cold Turkey 6k Run
*Cottonwood Heights City Thanksgiving Day 5k
Utah Human Race (Draper)
Snap Fitness Annual Turkey Day Run (Riverton)
Kick the Stuffing out of Cancer 5k (multiple locations)