by Madison V. Fisler
Nov. 26, 2013. On Thanksgiving Day, hundreds of participants will strut their giving side at the largest 5K race in the High Country.
The third annual High Country Turkey Trot aims to take a bite out of hunger on Nov. 28. Benefiting the Hospitality House, which provides aid to hungry and homeless residents of the area, the Turkey Trot hopes to raise funds and food to help the nonprofit organization to reach as many in need as possible.
This year, even more people from all around the nation are expected to join in to help the cause. Participants can join in on the timed race, or just enjoy a run, jog or even a walk to benefit the Hospitality House.
“The way it has gone, in 2011 we were hoping for 200 participants and we had 224 pre-register, and then we had 200 people walk up!” said Todd Carter of the Hospitality House.
This year, more than 600 people were already pre-registered for the event after online registration closed yesterday.
“If it goes the way it went for the past two years, we will have equal walk ups.”
Yes, that means that there very well could be 1,200 entrants for this year’s Turkey Trot.
Start time for the race is 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, with on-site registration starting at 7 a.m. and closing 30 minutes before the start of the race.
Cash, check and credit cards are accepted for the registration fee. Onsite registration prices are $30 for adults and teens and $12 for children 12 and under.
The 5K route will take place in Clawson-Burnley Park on the partially paved Greenway Trail. The race will go on rain or shine so make sure you come prepared for the weather!
New this year is the Turkey Trot Tot Lot which will offer childcare provided by the Red Cross during the race for competitors who wish to utilize it.
“All of the money is raised through registrations, as we have generous sponsors who have underwritten the entire cost of the race,” Carter said.
“The first two Turkey Trots raised a total of $31,000 and 1,200 pounds of food. We want to raise much more than that this year, we would love to raise $25,000 and 1,200 pounds of food. We are really excited and registrations are just pouring in.”
This year, there are many options to help the Hospitality House to reach their lofty goal. If you want to help but don’t want to run, you can take advantage of the new “sleep-in” option.
“If you are someone who likes to sleep in, if you are someone stuck home cooking the turkey or if you just want to stay and watch the Macy’s Day Parade in your pajamas, you can register, get the t-shirt and we won’t tell anyone that you didn’t run!”
Also new this year is the Charitable Trees that will be available onsite. Participants will have the option of purchasing a Christmas tree at the event where $5 from each tree sold will be donated to the Hospitality House. You also have the option of purchasing an honor card, to donate in honor or in memory of someone.
And of course, don’t forget to dress up for the costume contest. The winner will receive a free massage from Serenity Day Spa.
Ashe County Ford will be sponsoring the Live Radio Remote, and the radio station will be broadcasting live from the Turkey Trot, as well as providing the vehicles to haul all the goodies collected at the event to the Hospitality House.
To register for the third annual High Country Turkey Trot, visit www.hcturkeytrot.org. Registrations are currently pouring in from all over the United States. Last year, 13 states were represented along with 28 unique North Carolina cities.
“This year I have seen registrations from as far away as California, Texas, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Alabama. It’s really cool to see all of these folks from all over supporting the cause,” said Carter.
And the event is still in need of volunteers.
“As this event grows we need about 40 total volunteers and we are about halfway there. We have some student groups from Watauga High School and some Appalachian students, we just need some community members to volunteer.”
To volunteer for the Turkey Trot, email Todd at [email protected]
“This will be the 102nd year that a Turkey Trot has been hosted in the United States,” said Carter.
“The first one started in Cincinnati, and now there are thousands across the nation. Thanksgiving is the one day that more people want to do something nice for somebody else, more so than any other day of the year. People just want to use this day to give back.”
So if you want to have a good time and support a local worthy cause, be sure to register for the third annual High Country Turkey Trot and give your thanks in a way that will make a difference for hundreds of your neighbors in need.
This year, 20 different states are represented, and even one foreign country: India!