I live in a pretty small town (that actually happens to be the “oldest” town in America, by the way). I grew up here, moved away for school and the start of my professional career and then moved back last summer with my little family. Quite frankly, I think there is no better place to raise a family.
Part of being in a small town is the reality that it doesn’t have all the events and activities that a bigger town might have. I often hear people complaining that “there is nothing to do.” (Considering the fact that our town has beautiful beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, I’m not sure how that is possible…but I digress.)
My mom used to tell me, “Only a boring person can be bored” – and I’ve applied the same theory to living here. If we don’t have something…why not create it?
When I was in St Petersburg two years ago, my running group put together a very informal, casual Turkey Trot for our families. I loved it. My husband and I got to talking about the race and since we don’t have a Turkey Trot in our hometown, we decided to create our own.
(How cute is the turn around sign my little sister drew for us!?)
We created a Facebook event, started inviting friends and let’s just say our little event GREW.
Despite being the COLDEST day of the year so far (about 41 degrees at race time), we still had over 100 people at our little Turkey Trot! Craziness.
We didn’t charge a dime for the race – just encouraged people to bring a non-perishable food item as their “race entry” to be donated to a local food pantry.
A local small business donated bananas and water at the finish line and a local printing company printed our “race bibs” for us for free.
I loved seeing what everyone was thankful for! It definitely started Thanksgiving out the right way.
My family members were such good sports in the freezing cold.
I didn’t end up running – I figured someone should at least be at the finish line, calling out times when people were done. We congratulated our Top 5 male finishers…
And yes, my husband got 3rd place, even though he was pushing the Mini Athlete in the stroller…and yes, that 11 year old finished in 5th place. Amazing!
Our top 5 female finishers…
No official medals or awards – just a photo and some bragging rights.
I loved this little Turkey Trot. Why? It brought back all the reasons I love going to races. It was about the community – not about all the swag, gimmicks, bells and whistles (and ever-increasing race entry fees). Several of people who ran our little Turkey Trot told me it was the first 5k they’ve ever done! I absolutely LOVE that. We all had such a great time out there on that chilly Thanksgiving morning.
In fact, we had so much fun that we’ve decided to do it again. We’re going to be hosting our own Jingle Bell 5k on Saturday, December 21st…and I can’t wait!