A Look Back at the 2021 Turkey Trot

On the road again

Last year, after a year of quarantine, Turkey Trot runners were once again on the streets of SouthWood, returning Turkey Trot to its role of bringing our community together. Even though we did not make a full return to pre-covid days, it was a great start and the many runners and volunteers made it a great day.

I loved this email I received a few hours after the race:

Thanks to all who made Thanksgiving great again!  As I reflected on this a.m., I realized the race brought thousands of Democrats and Republicans together. There were vaccinated and unvaccinated. There were families enjoying the start to a great holiday with each other and friends. There was no arguing, or disagreements.  We had all races and religions present. We need more of this.

Here are a few fun facts and figures:

  • A total of 4,343 people registered for the event.
  • All but 144 of those people picked up their race bibs.
  • 3,769 registered and finished one or more of the following distances: One-Mile (657), 5K (2,577), 10K (351), and 15K (184) races.

Participants and sponsors enabled the race to donate the following amounts:

  • $11,613.67 -Amount raised for Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Bend.
  • $11,519.66 – Kearny Center
  • $12,359.39 Refuge House

These funds included 217 people who signed up as Turkey Trot Heroes and Super Heroes and donated more than $10,000 for the three nonprofits supported by the race.

There is no better feeling in the world than watching hundreds and ultimately thousands of runners turn onto Esplanade Way from Merchants Row and run for the finish line less than one tenth of a mile away.  They are all kinds of people and come in all sizes, shapes, and belief systems.   This is the only race many of them will run each year.

There was some serious racing in addition to all the good will. Katie Sherron ran 56:19 to win the women’s division of the 15K comfortably ahead of runner up Hannah Hosay who grabbed second place in a time of 1:03:10. It was Katie’s third 15K title. Trevor Sununu maintained a 5:35 minute pace to win the men’s 15K title this year in a time of 51:59. Chris O’Kelley took second with a not so close time of 54:35.

Of special note, Ann Centner covered the 5K course in a time of 16:26 matching the Turkey Trot 5K women’s record of 16:26 run by Viola Lagat in 2012. Chris Haynes was the men’s 5K winner in a time of 15:33. Matt Mizereck finished second in 16:05.  The 5K record belongs to Ricardo Estremera and Matt Mizereck as they have both previously run the race 14:46.

Joe McLeod won the 10K in a time of 36:53 to finish ahead of Montford Middle School cross country coach Brad Busboom who ran 37:47. Amy Hines was the top woman finishing in 38:33. Brittney Barnes was second in 40:45.  And finally, the winners of the one-mile race were Nicolas Zamora in 5:28 and Rachel Chakota in 6:07.

So, Mary Jean took care of the weather in 2021, bringing in a cool morning with clear blue skies. Parky had to sit in the corner. The volunteer machine did its part miraculously and the smiles and thank you’s spread everywhere as runners enjoyed Thanksgiving together again.

I am looking for something special this year.  We have reversed the ill winds of COVID-19, at least for a while.  But the most powerful of those winds brought a lot of rancor and bitterness. We still have a long way to go to get all the way back.   Consider this our invitation to you to join us for the 2022 Tallahassee Turkey Trot and help us cross the 5000 finishers mark again..