Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ghosts of Turkey Trots Past

Scrolling through my Facebook page, it is great to read that so many of my "friends" or "friends of friends" will be lacing up their shoes and heading out to any number of small suburbs to run with family and friends on this cool and damp Thanksgiving morning. It is a proud tradition that I fondly recall having been part of in the past, and on occasions such as this, miss...

Webster Turkey Trot, November 2007.
For the first time in almost six years, I will not be running in at least one of the many local "turkey trots," or road races, held throughout my community over the holiday weekend. There was a time not too long ago that I would register for and run in nearly every race scheduled during the holiday season, or at the very least, rotate my participation in the "big" races--run the Webster Turkey Trot one year and the Race for Grace the next, and so on. Sitting here this morning, psychologically preparing myself to head out for a solo short run, I realize that I kind-of-sort-of miss it. Turkey trots, you see, are kind of like the Easter Mass of the running world.

For many folks, the Thanksgiving Day run will be the only road race they enter all year. Much of this has to do with the purpose of the day and the event: giving thanks for family and friends (as well as one's health). The point of the run for many is not to run especially well, or even to win, but rather to be out with family members and friends on the morning just prior to gorging themselves with turkey and pie. Of all race days, it is the one were folks are less inclined to check the results for their times and more likely to do so to check the names of old friends they thought they recognized in the pack or new friends they met at the finish.

As you return home from your own turkey trot this morning, or like I begin preliminarily planning your participation in one next year--just a little hungrier and happier than when you left the house--consider the great friends you just finished running with and think about who you may invite to spend the morning with you and hundreds (or thousands) of your new friends next year.

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