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High Country’s Largest 5K Returns Thanksgiving Day to Benefit the Hospitality House

2018 High Country Turkey Trot 5K racers take off. (Photo courtesy of Light by Dawn Studios)

For the ninth consecutive year the High Country Turkey Trot 5K, presented by Mast General Store, will take place Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 28, on the Boone Greenway Trail at the Clawson-Burnley Park entrance. Coach John Weaver, retired Director of Track, Field and Cross Country for Appalachian State University, and Big Kahuna Timing will be assisting with the event, utilizing fully automatic chip timing for the 5K Race.

The race will kick off at 9:00 a.m. with the Fun Run / Walk, for casual runners, joggers and walkers following fifteen minutes later. Named a Top Ten Holiday 5K race by Our State magazine back in 2016, this destination race attracted over 1,100 participants from twenty-five different states and over fifty North Carolina cities and towns last year.

“We are looking forward to another successful event,” stated Hospitality House director of development Todd Carter. “Boone is such a beautiful place to run a 5K on Thanksgiving Day. It is our privilege to offer this opportunity for runners from all over the United States to experience Boone and the High Country at the beginning of the holiday season.”

Since 2011, the High Country Turkey Trot has raised over $200,000 and close to 8,500 pounds of food to support the mission of Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina, a regional homeless services agency providing housing, hunger relief and homeless prevention in seven counties.

Avid runner and Creston, North Carolina resident Melissa Edmonson commented, “I love seeing people signed up from different areas. I am very excited. It’s my favorite race of the year.”

Sponsored by Echota, Molecular Toxicology Inc. and The Winkler Organization, this year’s High Country Turkey Trot is still accepting sponsorships as a premier marketing opportunity for local and regional businesses.

The event also features the Leigh Cooper Wallace winner’s chute, dedicated in 2013, a costume contest, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, healthy snacks, outdoor fire pits and gas heaters. Stick Boy Bakery pumpkin pies will be awarded to the first, second and third place overall finishes for men and women. Race results will be provided in overall and age division formats with first-place finishers in each age division receiving a certificate.

Everyone is welcome to participate, including families with children, strollers and pets on a leash. All participants are asked to bring non-perishable food items – canned goods, boxed goods, dry goods – for donation to the Hospitality House Bread of Life Hunger Relief programs which served over 150,000 meals last year in the Community Kitchen and Food Pantry.

Pre-registration, available online at HCTurkeyTrot.org, is $30 for adults & teens and $10 for kids 12 and under. Adult & teen registration includes a commemorative long-sleeve t-shirt while kids registration includes a Turkey Trot refrigerator magnet. Kids 12 & under wishing to receive a commemorative t-shirt, need to register as an adult/teen and choose t-shirt size small. Early-bird registration deadline is November 4 to qualify for a t-shirt and November 17 before prices increase.

Back by popular demand is the Sleep-In Option. Perfect for someone who’s not a morning person, is stuck at home cooking the Turkey or just loves to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, this option allows folks to participate and still receive a commemorative long-sleeve T-Shirt!

For sponsorship information and questions email Carter at todd@hosphouse.org 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 Venmo at @HospHouse; or on Twitter @HospHouseNWNC.