Before talking turkey this Thanksgiving, all are welcome to sprint, stride or stroll through the Family of New Paltz’s seventh annual Turkey Trot on Nov. 25 at 9 a.m.
The morning “trot” is an approximately 5 kilometer (or 3.1 mile) run, starting at the Water Street Market, trailing down to Plains Road and looping back around on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. All proceeds go directly to the Family of New Paltz.
“The money we raise buys a lot of food and helps us out tremendously,” Program Director Kathy Cartagena said.
The annual event is sponsored by a variety of local businesses, with its headlining sponsors being New Paltz Health & Nutrition Center and Feldman, Kleidman and Coffey, each of which is donating $1,500.
While Family of New Paltz has been helping the community for years, providing various support groups, a food pantry, shelter and a 24-hour hotline, the turkey trot is the product of Suzanne Holt. After moving to New Paltz from Brooklyn, Holt felt it necessary to implement such an event into the town.
Cartagena said the first trot’s turnout only brought about 300 runners, but the event has been gaining momentum and becoming more of a big reunion spot where community members bring their families to take a nice run before the big holiday dinner. She said last year’s turnout was somewhere between 1,300 and 1,500 people, raising about $28,000.
“[We’re] very lucky to be in a generous community where people are aware of issues and poverty,” Cartagena said.
Meant to be more of a fun run than a competition, markers and timers will be provided in approximate spots along the course, with a clock at the finish, but no official results will be provided.
There will also be a mashed potato half-mile fun run for kids 10 and under. Each trotting tot will receive either a complimentary treat or donated gift. This will begin at 9 a.m. with the 5k to start promptly at 9:30 a.m.
Early birds who have yet to sign-up can do so at 8 a.m. Breakfast will also be available, and any who registered prior to Nov. 12 will be able to pick up their T-shirts.
The registration form can be found at www.newpaltzturkeytrot.com.
The fee until 5 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving at for runners 18 and under or 65 and over is $10, and $15 for anyone 19 to 64. If registering after 5 p.m. or on the day of, entrants must pay a minorly raised price of $12 for anyone 18 or under and $17 for anyone 19 or older.
If long lines aren’t your thing, you can get a head start by registering the day before at Rock and Snow from 12 to 5 p.m. You can also register through www.active.com until 5 p.m. on Nov. 24. If interested in helping and volunteering, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.