Marathon High members spent their Thanksgiving morning running the 24th ThunderCloud Subs 5-mile Turkey Trot.
The Turkey Trot is an annual event in Austin where thousands of participants wake at 9:30 in the morning to meet at the Long Center to join in the 5-mile run/walk Thanksgiving tradition established since 1991. The event donates 100% of its proceeds to Caritas of Austin, an organization that assists with the poor by providing education and support.
“It’s something to make Thanksgiving more than just about over eating and over indulging,” said Brendon Kepner, Ann Richards School teacher and Marathon High sponsor. “I like the atmosphere… it’s really just a festivity.”
Runners of all kinds are welcomed, from first-timers to the more advanced. It’s a time for people to come together and join in on a massive tradition.
“It just seemed like a lot of fun and I wanted to do it,” said Sophie Penniman, a senior and first time member of Marathon High. “I know in previous years I’ve thought about it but I was like, ahh 5 miles is so much, and I didn’t realize we ran 12 miles [in Marathon High training] a couple weeks ago.”
Runners of previous years warn that the 5-mile run still presents a challenge. The route begins by heading northeast on Lavaca St, turning left on 15th street, left on Newfield Ln, then continues down W Cesar Chavez St until reaching the finish line at W Riverside Dr, totaling up to 5.01 miles.
“I do know that it’s really hilly…It’s always the same point, so after the 2 mile mark, I’m like, I’m dying, but then I get my 2nd wind and it feels better,” said Oceane Maher, senior and long time runner of the Turkey Trot. “My favorite part is the awards, because they give out trophies…they’re in the shape of a turkey!”
While the 5 miles may seem daunting, Kepner explains that the race is something for everyone to enjoy.
“I think it’s a very fun race, there’s people who dress up in costumes and it’s just 5 easy miles, you can run it, you can walk it,” said Kepner. “I’ve done it before, and I think if you’re a new runner 5 miles is a good distance for a kind of a challenge because it’s not a 5K it’s more than that, you’ll really push yourself, but again it’s not a race in a sense that you have to win it.”
Running the Turkey Trot has become a favorite for many, as evident by the 21,000 participants who ran this year.
“It’s good because it’s in the morning and so it doesn’t conflict with any dinner plans and things like that, and kind of even maybe gets you a little bit hungrier for dinner,” said Kepner. “It gives you more of an excuse to eat an extra slice of pie.”