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Turkey Trot encourages community, activity during Thanksgiving holiday

Kirwan+and+Blagg+sprint+out+at+the+start+of+the+race+with+the+rest+of+the+runners
Kirwan and Blagg sprint out at the start of the race with the rest of the runners

Kirwan and Blagg sprint out at the start of the race with the rest of the runners

Photo courtesy of VA Momentum

Photo courtesy of VA Momentum

Kirwan and Blagg sprint out at the start of the race with the rest of the runners

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The Turkey Trot hosted by VA Momentum was held on Thanksgiving morning with below-freezing temperatures last Thursday. Around 1,500 runners and walkers participated in this four-mile trot. Freshman Hayden Kirwan and senior Jacob Blagg are two of the HHS cross country runners who ran in the Turkey Trot.

 

“There were some people who ran. They had five different heats. The first heat had about 100 people who actually cared more about running. [Many] of the people at the race were walking,” Blagg said.

 

Blagg and Kirwan expressed the differences between running a cross country meet and running a community race. Competitive cross country meets are 3.1 miles. They often have various hills and are run on unpaved surfaces, but the downtown course was flat and paved.

 

“It’s a good opportunity to run a fast course, even if it was a different distance than usual. I thought they did a good job putting together the race, and they had the course well marked,” Blagg said.

 

Both Blagg and Kirwan were not particularly pleased with encountering walkers on the second lap around the downtown course. Both of them encountered the walkers when they were approaching the three-mile point, but the walkers had only reached half of a mile or more.

 

“It was a bit more challenging because a lot of the [walkers] didn’t move out of the way,” Kirwan said.

 

Even with these obstacles, Kirwan placed 10th overall with a time of 24:20, while Blagg placed 11th with a time of 24:22.

 

Although there were struggles with navigating around walkers, the race was much more of a community and social event than a serious athletic competition.

 

“There were all kinds of people. There were high schoolers, people with strollers, grandparents, toddlers, just everybody,” Kirwan said. “It was fun because they were handing out pumpkin pie, even though I didn’t get any of it. It was cool to run with a different crowd.”

 

The costumes worn by some runners and walkers attracted attention. Some of them were related to Thanksgiving, while others were just for fun. Santa crossed the finish line in less than half an hour.

 

“I saw a group of people dressed as unicorns playing music. A lot of people were dressed up as turkeys or had turkey hats,” Kirwan said.

 

Like most people, Kirwan looked forward to racing and to the feast after.

 

“I like running and I didn’t want to feel guilty about stuffing my face in Thanksgiving,” Kirwan said.

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Every person has a story.
Turkey Trot encourages community, activity during Thanksgiving holiday