Turkey Trot Among The Thanksgiving Day Traditions Enjoyed By Michiganders

Thanksgiving Day is a time when Michiganders of all ages enjoy a variety of traditions, from consuming mass quantities of turkey and pumpkin pie to gathering around the television to watch America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White.

Or some head to downtown Detroit, so they can experience the magic in-person, including the Strategic Staffing Solutions Turkey Trot.

“It is so much fun,” said Krystin Kutler of Oakland Township. “I’ve been running for eight years. I’m not very fast. I just do it to keep in shape and because I like being outdoors.”

A few years ago, Cindy Karrandja of Shelby Township, a friend and fellow member of her running community invited Kutler to partake in the Turkey Trot, and she’s been a participant ever since. In 2019, her daughter, Evelyn, 10, decided to give the run a try and like her mother, was hooked. “Last year we did a virtual run but wasn’t the same as the run before.”

This year, the beloved family tradition leading up to the parade in Detroit will be returning to Woodward Avenue and will feature several distances for runners and walkers to choose from including the Turkey Trot 10K, Stuffing Strut 5K, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mashed Potato Mile. That doesn’t include numerous other combination options that allow runners of all ages and levels to experience the holiday run.

At least 10,000 runners are expected to turn out for the annual Turkey Trot in downtown Detroit. Photo courtesy of The Parade Company

“We are thrilled to bring the S3 Turkey Trot back to Woodward Avenue this year to kick off the magic on Thanksgiving morning,” Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company said in a news release. “We love the energy this event brings to the parade route and are grateful for our fabulous partner, Strategic Staffing Solutions, who helps to make this event possible.”

That’s a huge commitment.

Many of the runners show up wearing costumes inspired by the holiday season. Photo courtesy of The Parade Company

“It’s like the biggest turkey trot in the U.S.” said John Tarantino of Shelby Township, who works for Hanson’s Running Shop in Utica along with Joe Baldwin, another runner from Shelby Township who is also the director of the Turkey Trot Course.

Tarantino used to participate in the run but after helping Baldwin with the Turkey Trot one year, he decided to remain a member of the corps of volunteers who make it such a success. “It’s an awesome event. I don’t think people realize. It’s unbelievable what goes on behind the scenes to put this on.”

The Turkey Trot is always held on Thanksgiving Day morning, but days before the event gets going hundreds of volunteers, up to 12 trucks carrying bottled water, barriers, and other race materials are already in motion, getting the course ready or going over security and registration for the run.

“I’m in downtown Detroit, right now, reviewing the course,” Baldwin said during an interview Monday. “We have over 10,000 runners registered this year, which is good after coming back from COVID-19 (and last year’s virtual run).”

Joe Baldwin, course director for the Turkey Trot was in Detroit Monday, to go over the course. Photo courtesy of Joe Baldwin

All runners and walkers receive an official race shirt and medal. What also makes it fun is participants can choose to dress in their favorite holiday costumes, so spectators watching the runners trot past them will see everything from Santa and his elves to a turkey and drumstick running along the street.

“It’s really neat,” said Kutler, whose husband Jerad Kutler and 4-year-old twins, Joshua and Cecilia will be among the crowd of spectators watching the run. “All of the people waiting for the parade to start high-five the runners as they go by – kind of like a cheering section.”

After she’s done running, she and Evelyn will join the rest of the family in watching the parade, just as she did when she was a little girl. Then it’s off to her mother-in-law’s for dinner.

“It’s going to be a big family affair,” Kutler said. “I can’t wait to show them what’s it’s like to be downtown for the run and the parade – and to see the awe in their eyes.”

Krystin and Evelyn Kutler enjoying the fun surrounding a previous Turkey Trot. Photo courtesy of the Kutler family

Themed “Love on Woodward,” America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner-White and produced by The Parade Company, will be celebrating its 95th year. WDIV-TV (Channel 4), exclusive and longtime TV partner will air live on WDIV-TV (Channel 4) from 10 a.m. to noon, including a one-hour syndicated national broadcast from 10 to 11 a.m.

The parade will also be featured broadcasts on Paul W. Smith’s morning show WJR-AM (760) and Audacy’s WOMC-FM (104.3).

For more information visit theparade.org

Source : https://www.macombdaily.com/2021/11/25/turkey-trot-among-the-thanksgiving-day-traditions-enjoyed-by-michiganders/

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