EUGENE, Ore. — The smiles were likely just as broad as the bellies Thursday, but before the feasts some were busy working up their appetites that morning at Skinner Butte Park. While the turkeys cooked, more than a thousand people hit the streets of Eugene for the Third Annual Turkey Trot.
While many folks had the option of sleeping in Thursday before that big meal, hundreds of folks decided instead to gather at Skinner Butte Park for a good cause.
Turkey Trotter Vicki Flesher said, “Well there are a lot of runners, a big line of runners, there’s more people here this year. It’s just a great time to be out.”
More than 1,200 runners and walkers made it out that morning. Each with their own reasons and whether it was for tradition or just to pre-burn those calories, with five dollars of each registration going straight to those in need nearby, everyone was helping to make the holiday season better for folks in their community.
“The best part of the Turkey Trot this year is just the outpouring of support. There’s so much enthusiasm out here. People know that it’s a benefit for Food for Lane County and St. Vincent de Paul. They’re feeding our hungry neighbors and they’re here and they’re enthusiastic,” said Alicia Hines, Food for Lane County Food Resource Developer.
Their good deed didn’t seem to go unnoticed as after days of rain, they were dry and for that, amongst many other things, they were grateful.
“I’m very thankful for my family,” said Flesher.
Fellow Turkey Trotter Jason Pankiewicz-Waldram said, “I’m just thankful to be here in Eugene. I just moved here in August. It’s a great town.”
Runners came from all over the place Thursday, but no matter where they came from or what place they came in, they all agreed that helping local families in need this holiday season was worth losing a few extra hours of sleep.