The holidays are upon us and with them the annual holiday traditions. Everyone has them. These traditions may include ritualistic practices such as wearing an especially festive sweater, preparing your famous bean casserole, or wagering with your cousin over the amount of gin and tonics Uncle Ray will put down before dinner.
My family’s big Thanksgiving tradition is running the local turkey trot together. We began this tradition back in 2012, the first Thanksgiving my wife and I spent together when we were first dating. That year my wife (then girlfriend) and my son (then five) ran the 1-mile race while I participated in the 5K. The following year, we all ran the mile together and last year my wife and I (newly married) ran alone because my son was in NYC living it up with his mom at the Macy’s Parade.
Fortunately, the three of us were reunited for this year’s trot. What made the 2015 event so much was that it marked the first time all three of us ran the 5K together. The weather was pretty great – sunny and crisp – and everyone ran well. Jack set my pace and got us to the finish line in just under 29 minutes. Adrienne was able to run the whole 5K, which was tremendous considering the leg issues that have plagued her throughout the year. My mom, who was in town for the holiday, was even nice enough to come out and freeze her tail off awaiting us at the finish line.
The only way the event could’ve been more enjoyable was if we had run while wearing ornate turkey hats (like many of the other participants) and gotten a mug of delicious gravy at the end of the race instead of the customary bottled water. I think we’ll look into getting the hats for next year and I’ll email my suggestion of gravy-based refreshments to the organizers.
But while all of this festive fun is certainly important, let’s make one thing clear… all of us runners and walkers aren’t out there on chilly Thanksgiving mornings to create enduring holiday memories that we’ll cherish until our dying day. We’re out there logging miles so we can rationalize consuming an obscene amount of calories for the rest of the day.
This is really what turkey trotting is all about.
We’ll just consider all the enduring holiday memories to be a rather blissful bonus.