For many Mahomet residents, spending time with family on Thanksgiving Day is more than watching football and stuffing turkey and dressing into their faces. These residents gather annually with their family and friends for an early morning stroll or jog through the Lake of the Woods Park to support the Mahomet Parks and Recreation Department.
The vision for the Turkey Trot has always been simple: give community members a new way to gather and give back to the community they live in. The $10 registration fee goes directly towards donations to Mahomet Helping Hands and scholarships for children to participate in Mahomet Parks and Recreation programs.
Participants are also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Mahomet Helping Hands during the event.
While the event began as a few families getting together for a stroll on Thanksgiving morning, the Turkey Trot quickly grew into something a few organizers could not handle on their own. With a growing number of participants and non-perishable donations to Mahomet Helping Hands, the organizers handed the event over to the Mahomet Parks and Recreation Department.
Like the original organizers, Waldinger wants to keep the Turkey Trot as organic as possible. While there are a few stopwatches located near the end of the 5K, runners are not chipped or officially timed.
The 2018 Turkey Trot is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day on November 22 at 8 a.m.
Registration for the Turkey Trot is now open both in-person at the MPRD office at 218 S Lake of the Woods Rd and online. Registrations will still be taken up to the start of the event, but late registrations will not receive a t-shirt.