By Polly Lynn
Turkey trots are a holiday tradition for many around Thanksgiving Day. Not only do they serve as a way to burn off calories to counter balance the indulgent feast, but they are also crucial fundraisers for many organizations. Active.com lists 318 turkey trot events across the country this year, the majority of which are put on by local or national charities. Locally, races benefit Zack’s Place in Woodstock providing services to those with special-needs, Black River Good Neighbor Services, the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Fair Haven Concerned Inc. and the Class of 2016, Scholarship Funds, and other local charities.
Some such festivities got off to an early start last weekend, like the Loaded Turkey Rail Jam at Killington Resort, the Gobble Wobble at Rutland High School and the Castleton Cross Country Turkey Trot, but there are still many to join on or after your feast.
Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27
Killington 5K Turkey Trot Run/Walk
The 4th Annual Killington 5K Turkey Trot Run/Walk begins at 9:30 a.m. at Jax Food & Games, 1667 Killington Rd. The course starts toward Killington Mountain, then turns left onto Dean Hill Rd and right onto Roaring Brook Rd. Trotters will follow Roaring Brook Rd uphill to High Ridge Rd. “What goes up must come down and we have a saying when you hit the half way point: ‘It’s all down hill from here!’” race organizers state. Pre-registration is $20, race day $25 begins at 8:30 a.m. Proceeds support local charities.
Zack’s Place 5K Turkey Trot Run/Walk
The Zack’s Place Turkey Trot is a 5K run and walk held on Thanksgiving Day. It was first established in 2007, and has become a dependable annual fundraiser for Zack’s Place, a free enrichment center for special-needs people of all ages in Woodstock, Vt. The race has grown from about 200 people in 2007 to over 1,100 people last year, raising $47,000 for the organization.
The race begins in front of the Woodstock Elementary School at 10 a.m. The course meanders through the historic Village of Woodstock, onto Billings Farm, around Mountain Avenue, and back around The Green, ending at the starting line.
Entry fee is $25 if paid by check or $27.50 to pay online.
Friday, Nov. 28
Strafford Nordic Center 5K Turkey Trot
The fourth Annual 5K Turkey Trot Trail Run/Walk will take place Friday, Nov. 28 at the Strafford Nordic Center. The course circles the high valley of RockBottom Farm in Strafford, Vt. The trail crosses fields and pastures, winds along old woods roads and climbs to a spectacular traverse with 360-degree views of the mountains and hills of Vermont and New Hampshire. Registration $20 opens at 10 a.m. Fun run for kids starts at 10:45 a.m. 5K race starts at 11 a.m. Milk and cookies at the finish line.
Saturday, Nov. 29
Trot It Off 5k at Okemo
Okemo’s Trot It Off 5k walk/run aims to appeal to both the avid runner and the recreational walker eager to burn off the calories from that extra slice of Thanksgiving dessert. The Tots Trot, a kids’ fun race for children 12 and younger, will take place just before the 5k: 9:15 a.m. Tots Trot followed by 9:30 a.m. 5k race start.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Cornerstone Room at Jackson Gore. Pre-registration is $25; $30 on the day of the event. Tots Trot (12 & under) pre-registration is $10; $15 on the day of the event. Proceeds go to support the Wendy Neal Scholarship Fund and Black River Good Neighbor Services.
FHUHS 5K ‘Turkey Trot’
Fair Haven Union High School is hosting a 5K Turkey Trot at 10 a.m. Saturday to benefit Fair Haven Concerned Inc. and the Class of 2016. The entry fee is $20, or $15 with a nonperishable food donation, on the day of the race. Pre-register online or at 9 a.m. Saturday at the school.