Annual Thanksgiving Day Run remains holiday tradition

YMCA Thanksgiving Day Run
YMCA Thanksgiving Day Run(WVVA)
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 3:08 PM EST
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Runners laced up their shoes once more for the YMCA of Southern West Virginia’s Thanksgiving Day Run.

Now in its 46th year, some participants have come and gone, but the “Turkey Trot” as it’s been nicknamed has become a favorite holiday activity.

Organizers say they love watching the community come together.

“We all kick it off...together as one big YMCA family,” said Mathew Bishop, YMCA’s Chief Operations Officer. “You know, you do the run and then you get to go home and be with your smaller, immediate family.”

Andrea Bush has run the Thanksgiving five miles more than a dozen times, and now she brings her kids to run too.

“It’s kind of become a tradition,” she shared. “It’s just something fun we can all do to get out, and we all love to run, so...most of us love to run.”

Newer runners like Jessica York have only been participating for the last few years, but she says seeing people outside staying active is a joy.

“It’s a great way for the community to come together, and no matter if it’s a seven-minute mile or a sixteen-minute mile- a mile’s a mile, so it’s great no matter what your fitness level is to come out here and have community support you.”

Whether young or young at heart, runners or walkers, and everything in between, the YMCA Thanksgiving Day Run is enjoyed by all.

And Bishop says the best part comes after you have burned all those calories.

“You get to justify the pie. That’s the big part.”

The annual event offers a one-mile Fun Run, a five-mile run and a five-mile walk. All proceeds go toward the Y’s youth and financial assistance programs.

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