Turkey Trots And Traditions
Charles Kahn Photo from 2012 Zack’s Place Turkey Tot
by Anne Richter Arnold, Take It Outside
Thanksgiving for many of us means turkey and the fixings, football, family visits and getting ready for early Black Friday shopping. This year how about starting (or continuing) a healthy Thanksgiving tradition to take it outside with friends or family and walk, run or hike this holiday. It’s a great way to unplug yourself from technology, reconnect with your loved ones and, if you’re participating in a Turkey Trot, give back to your community. Plus it will make you feel a lot less guilty when you eat that piece of pumpkin pie knowing you have or will do something good for your body.
Turkey Trots have become almost as big a tradition on Thanksgiving morning for some families as the Macy’s Parade! There are two 5K events scheduled in our area and even if you didn’t sign up already it’s fine — both will gladly register you the morning of the race. Whether you choose to walk or run, race alone or gather up the family, you may decide to make it a new tradition. Not only will you feel good physically but you’ll show your thanks by joining your neighbors giving back to your community.
Here in Woodstock we will have the seventh annual Zack’s Place Turkey Trot, which benefits this important enrichment center for special needs kids and adults. You can round up your family and friends Thanksgiving morning at the Woodstock Elementary school and either walk, run or be pushed (yes, there are wheelchair and stroller participants of all ages!) the 5K route through the village of Woodstock. registration will take place on Nov. 27 at the school from 4-6 p.m. or on race day between 8-9:30 a.m. The event starts at 10 a.m. so there will still be plenty of time to cook after the Trot and besides feeling less guilty about taking seconds, you’ll feel good about supporting this important community organization.
Killington will hold its third annual Turkey Trot as well, starting at 9:30 at JAX’s at 1667 Killington Rd. The 5K walk/run benefits several local charities and is open to all ages and abilities. Register the morning of the race at 8:30 at JAX’s for $25 and enjoy the community spirit as you join friends and neighbors “trotting” to support the charitable organizations that give so much to so many.
Getting outside on Thanksgiving Day for a Turkey Trot or ramble may not work with your schedule, but there’s plenty of time over the long holiday weekend to take a family walk or hike some time over the holiday weekend. Rambling or hiking together as a family can be a great way for multiple generations to reconnect, share stories and be “unplugged” for a while. In town, Mount Tom is an excellent place for walkers and hikers of all levels and ages to enjoy the outdoors, especially if you take some of the wider carriage trails from the Prosper Road trailhead (where you can pick up a trail map) or the Visitors Center. Mt. Peg off of Golf Avenue is another easy hike that affords a great view at the top and is only about 1.5 miles. Faulkner Park on Mountain Avenue has trails that are now partially accessible even to wheelchairs, and the switchback Faulkner Trail is a favorite for many a family. Even a morning or afternoon stroll on your road in your neighborhood can be a wonderful family tradition either after the big meal or during the holiday weekend. How about suggesting a run with family members as an alternative way to spend some time together and reinforce the value of fitness?
Whichever Thanksgiving holiday outdoor activity you choose, make sure to dress for the elements. Hats, gloves, warm socks and appropriate footwear are important, as is dressing in layers for warm. A warm under layer that wicks moisture away from the body, an insulating layer as well as an outer layer that is waterproof or water resistant should be your outdoor uniform in the cooler months. If it might be dark on your return, make sure you bring a flashlight or at least wear some reflective clothing to easily be seen. And don’t forget safety first — bring a cell phone just in case and make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be home.
Enjoy the holiday in a safe and healthy way with a Turkey Trot, hike, walk or even a run this year. It’s a great way to spend some time with those most important to you and it may end up being a healthy new Thanksgiving tradition in your family!
Anne Richter Arnold is an ACE certified fitness professional and local hiking guide. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.