A Trot to Glory

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photo by David Pfeifer

The annual Louisville Turkey Trot took place on Thanksgiving morning.

David Pfeifer, Staff Reporter

As I pull into the parking spot, dreading having to surrender the warmth of the car, I prepare to face this cold, rainy Thanksgiving morning.

Joggers are running alongside me, preparing for the 5K many have been looking forward to for years. This is The Louisville Turkey Trot, a 3.1-mile run, starting in the depths of Waterfront Park. Surrounded by the river, large buildings, and bridges, people make their way to the event.

Along the sidewalk, runners stretch, adults are smiling, and children play in the grass despite the puddles and mud. Flashing cameras capture it all.

Some participants seem to take it very seriously, determined to earn the top spot. Others seem ready to run just for fun, possibly a family tradition. Many are having coffee and doughnuts, leaving me hungry, and considering a search for a warm beverage.

The Turkey Trot brings out unique, exotic clothes. One popular piece is a tutu with a turkey hat, mostly worn by teenagers who laugh and joke with each other. 

Some participants seem to take it very seriously, determined to earn the top spot. Others seem ready to run just for fun, possibly a family tradition.”

Some wear shorts, some without a shirt despite the cold. However, some have clothed themselves heavily. North Face jackets seem to be a popular item.

One man wears large hunting clothes — the camo-colored jacket, pants, and boots brought many laughs. This did not seem to bother him, probably knowing he was the warmest there.

Runners begin filing into the starting gate. Serious runners at the front and walkers follow in the back end. An announcer counts down the start time every five minutes until there are two minutes for the event to begin.

He screams, “Two more minutes!”; then “30 seconds remain!”  Many runners bounce up and down, shaking their legs out, and filing into the end of the line as they finish their delicious doughnuts.

As a loud horn goes off, participants head out — strong and focused and determined. The announcer continually screams, “Go! Go! Go!”

Some latecomers still making their way to the sign-in desk receive their numbers and start running. Some seem disappointed to start late while others just smile.

Not long after, some begin to leave, saying it’s too cold, others because they came only for the start.

People separate to the right and left — runners going to the left onto River Road, continuing the race into bright police lights which block off areas. Those to the right and enter vehicles.

The smell of Christmas trees from across the street surprises me on what feels like a long walk. This is nothing compared to the obstacles awaiting the runners.

Reaching my car gives me a feeling of success. I turn the heat all the way up while watching runners continue along River Road.

I drive off, wondering who would finish first.