Thanksgiving and exercise don’t always go hand-in-hand, but in Valpo a tradition of how families have spent their Turkey Day morning for years. For the 13th year Porter-Starke Services hosted their annual Turkey Trot on Thursday, which gathers people from around the region together to run a 5k or 10k around Valparaiso.
The event, which has grown each year and now has hit around 4,000 participants, allowed the young, old, and in-between some quality time together before their big feast.
“Each and every year the Turkey Trot grows and grows, and we’re so thankful for the community, volunteers, and our sponsors' support of this race,” Elliot Miller, Director of Marketing & Development for Porter-Starke Services, stated. “It is great to see people continually come out to be a part of the race, and also to see new faces each year. This race has always been a big part of our year and it’s nice that it also is for others. Porter-Starke’s vision is to inspire health, balance, and hope and we couldn’t be more glad that so many people in our community are striving for those same things as well.”
Though there were some first-timers who came to be a part of the Trot, the majority of the runners have participated in the race for years. Bill Coe, who ran with his son Billy, has been a part of the Trot for the past four years. Each race they dress up in some capacity, with animatronic turkey hats as their choice for this year. Still, they have made the race a tradition and will continue to run the Turkey Trot if it means that they can do it together.
“The Turkey Trot is a family tradition of ours now. It’s a good time to be together by walking, running or whatever we do to enjoy the morning,” Coe stated. “We really enjoy doing this together. It’s a great event for Valpo to have, and we’ll continue to be a part of the Trot for years.”
It wasn’t only families that participated in the Trot, many groups of friends came to conquer the Trot together as well. Shawn Hudecek and her six costume-wearing friends from around Northwest Indiana have been coming to the race for years.
“It’s a good way to start the day, and it’s a great to tell my friends how grateful I am for all of them by getting together for this,” Hudecek stated. “We have fun with it. We went all out with hats, tu-tus, and turkey feet this year. It’s a awesome event for the community, and it’s something that we do to get together as a group of friends and spend some important time with each other.”
With a flood of runners taking to the streets of Valpo, it was clear to see that the Turkey Trot isn’t just a race, it’s an event that lets families experience something unique as a group. Though there was a bit of rain and mud it didn’t get the best of anyone. Smiles, high fives, and cheers welcomed the runners from the course to the finish line, and the energy from everyone who attended the race lifted the spirits of those around them.
The Turkey Trot isn’t an event, it’s an integral part of the Valparaiso community. Next year Porter-Starke Services will host another Turkey Trot, and it will without a doubt still bring in the community that has made the race a part of their Thanksgiving.
Valparaiso, IN 46383
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