BUCKHANNON – People looking to burn some calories before Thanksgiving dinner still have time to register for the Upshur County Recreation Complex’s annual Turkey Trot 5k.
The third annual Turkey Trot 5k will begin last-minute registrations at 8 a.m. at Jawbone Park, the day of Thanksgiving. Upshur County Recreation Complex, Inc. Board president Mitch Shaw said the trot, which steps off at 9 a.m. Nov. 24, is a fundraiser for the Upshur County Recreation Complex and the Tucker Tough Foundation.
“We have online registration currently set up on our Facebook page, and our pre-registration that guarantees participants a T-shirt is closed, but you can show up the morning of and we are going to have some extra T-shirts of various sizes, but a limited number of those will be provided,” Shaw said. “I think we had 45 pre-registered runners and then we always end up having quite a few that come the morning.”
Runners will travel the same 3.1-mile route as in the past two years, and the course starts at Jawbone Park.
“We’re going to go over to Lumber Street and then cut through towards the Riverwalk Trail and run all the way around the big perimeter of the river trail at [West Virginia] Wesleyan College and then come up Camden Avenue and then over to Florida Street, and then bring it all the way back down into the park,” Shaw said. “It’s a good stopping point and gives everybody a good, scenic route and it keeps them off of the main road for a good bit of it too.”
Initially, the 5k took place in September, but they saw successful examples of Thanksgiving Turkey Trots having a decent turnout.
“It seemed like we were butting up against other organizations’ 5ks, so we decided to go ahead and look at different dates and at some point, someone recommended doing one Thanksgiving morning,” Shaw said. “They do one somewhere in the Clarksburg area – that usually gets a pretty good turnout – and it was somebody locally in Buckhannon who travels to that one every year and they said, ‘well, if we had one in Buckhannon and I could just do it here, that would be great’ so we decided to give it a try and had a pretty good turnout the first year.”
They were initially concerned people would not want to come out on Thanksgiving, but hosting the race on the holiday motivated people to participate in the run.
“It gives people a chance to get out on Thanksgiving morning, and if they want, they can throw their turkey in the oven, come out and run and be home before it’s even done,” Shaw said. “It gives people motivation to get out and do a little bit of exercise before they stuff their faces, and it’s a little bit chilly, but it’s not to the point where it’s super cold so they can run comfortably and not be too hot and also not be too cold.”
Shaw said he also hopes to work with the Upshur County Commission on their plans to construct an indoor and outdoor recreational center on the approximate 70 acres of land recently donated by J.F. Allen.
“I have been in discussions with the commission,” Shaw said. “When this whole thing came about, they reached out to us and let us know they received this property and they waited until the ‘Ts’ were crossed and the ‘i’s were dotted.”
“They want us to be involved and how that’s going to look is still up in the air because there’s still a lot of questions out there and as most people know, things don’t always operate quickly in the government, so it takes time to get everything ironed out and figured out and done the proper way,” he explained.
You can pre-register for the third annual UCRC 5K here.