Organizers of the High Country Turkey Trot 5K, the largest 5K in the High Country with an average attendance around 1,200, have decided to keep the event virtual again this year. The annual Thanksgiving Day race, benefitting Hospitality House of Northwest N.C., has been taking place on the Boone Greenway Trail since 2011. This year, its eleventh anniversary, the High Country Turkey Trot will once again take place virtually, from wherever the racers, runners and walkers are.
“This was not an easy decision,” states Hospitality House chief development director Todd Carter. “We were really hoping for a big ten-plus-one anniversary celebration. However, with uncertainty surrounding booster shots and availability of vaccines for children under twelve; to say nothing of our current, ongoing COVID cluster at our congregant living facility, we had to choose health and safety above everything else.”
Like last year, this year’s event is being billed as, ‘High Country Turkey Trot Week.’ The High Country Turkey Trot 5K, presented by Mast General Store, takes place November 19 through 25 and includes a Facebook 5K race, souvenir race bibs, commemorative t-shirts and a peer-to-peer fundraising contest.
For the fundraising contest, the participant who raises the most money over $1,000 will win a $500 shopping spree at Mast General Store. Second and third place will each receive $250 and $100 Mast General Store gift cards, respectively. The fundraising contest is already underway, and participants can sign up at HCTurkeyTrot.org.
Carter adds, “As we head into the winter season, funds raised each year by the Turkey Trot are critical. So, as an added incentive to help reach our fundraising goal, we need racers, runners and walkers to help us raise money.”
Those unable to race or run are encouraged to visit HCTurkeyTrot.org and make a general donation to help Hospitality House meet the continued increase in demand and costs brought on by COVID-19.
Runners wishing to compete in the Facebook 5K can run the race anytime during Turkey Trot Week and post a photo with their timed result; via Garmin, Connect, FitBit, Apple Watch or other timing device, to the Facebook event page by midnight on November 25. Winners will be announced on Saturday, November 27. The top three overall men’s and women’s finishers will each receive a $20 Stick Boy Bread Company gift card and $20 Mast General Store gift card. Certificates will be awarded in ten-year age divisions to the top finisher.
There are two different registration options available online at HCTurkeyTrot.org. General registration is available for $30 and includes a downloadable souvenir race bib. T-shirt registration is available for $40 and includes a long-sleeve commemorative t-shirt and downloadable souvenir race bib. Both registration levels are for adults and children with t-shirt sizes available in youth medium and adult small, medium, large, extra-large and xx-large.
Only the first three hundred registrations at the T-shirt level will be guaranteed a t-shirt. T-shirts will be made available for drive-thru pickup or will be shipped to non-local participants. Any registrant who requires shipping and wishes to receive their t-shirt prior to Turkey Trot Week needs to register by October 29. All other orders will be shipped in a timely manner; however, arrival prior to Thanksgiving Day cannot be guaranteed.
Since 2011, the High Country Turkey Trot has raised over $250,000 and close to 10,000 pounds of food to support the mission of Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina, a regional housing and homeless services agency providing housing, hunger relief and crisis assistance in seven counties.
Continues Carter, “I know that we made the right decision for the community; however, we are saddened, nonetheless. I’m hopeful that next year we can welcome back runners from all across the United States to the Boone Greenway Trail for a record-setting celebration.”
For additional information and questions email Carter at [email protected] or call 828.264.1237 ext. 6.
To learn more about Hospitality House, visit them online at HospHouse.org, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or TikTok at @HospHouse; or on Twitter @HospHouseNWNC.