Turkey Trot 2021: The annual road race of the year


Haider Malik, Sports Editor

 Thanksgiving has arrived and that means two things: having too much food with distant relatives and running the Turkey Trot. The Turkey Trot is the annual road race that happens all over the country during Thanksgiving and the local chapter here at FishHawk just completed its twelfth year of this race. The 2021 Turkey Trot had a lot of participants around the community, including some of Newsome’s very own talented runners.

   The Fishhawk Turkey Trot, or FHTT, began in 2009 by Seeds of Hope as a way to provide service hours for high school students and provide food to people in need through the race’s proceeds. Directed by Leda Eaton, the race was originally hosted at the Fishhawk Sports Complex, with 450 participants in the first-ever FHTT.

   Over the years, participation has dramatically increased, making this one of the largest road races in the area. In 2010, there were 1,400 participants, and in 2021, there were more than 3,000 participants.

   Seeds of Hope is a charity that was formed by the proceeds of the FHTT. Seeds of Hope or SOH would generate the proceeds from this charity race and put a majority of it into the SOH food bank. This foodbank would provide backpacks of food to school children and weekly food distributions for families.

   Back to the race itself, in 2011 the FHTT moved its venue to the Fishhawk Publix parking lot, where it has remained the permanent home of this road race. This race has kept on growing and has been a successful chapter of the Turkey Trot.

   The Turkey Trot is on Thanksgiving Day, which begs the question of why people would want to run on a holiday. “Well, I think the main reason why Turkey Trots are so popular is because it alleviates the guilt people get from eating so much on Thanksgiving. People will feel better about themselves if they run a few miles before eating so much food,” said Brian Sears, coach of the Newsome boys’ cross country team.

   The distances offered to race at FHTT are the 5k, 10k, mile and 250-yard mini-run. On Thanksgiving Day, there were thousands of participants ready to race, with the 5k being the most popular. Racing the 5k were some of Newsome’s very own talented runners, like Junior Ethan Eaves and Senior Kameron Kmetz.

   These two athletes both run for Newsome’s track and cross country team. Both of these boys ran good times for the 5k while having fun. “I had a lot of fun running the turkey trot because, even though it was cold, I ran with my friends and ran well, earning a new personal best,” said Kmetz. “I had a blast during the Turkey Trot. It was a great experience and it was not a pain to run on Thanksgiving morning,” said Eaves.

This year, many of the participants were eager to run in a positive atmosphere. The energy at the FHTT was festive, motivational and happy as described by the participants. The 2021 Fishhawk Turkey Trot was a charitable, fun way to kick off this year’s Thanksgiving.