BY MARK MAYNARD
THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
RUSSELL Turkey Trot runners have made the Thanksgiving Day 5K something special in downtown Russell.
Last year, more than 800 partcipated in the event where a can of food for Helping Hands in Greenup is the only entry fee. Families and friends converge in downtown to run and fellowship before siding up to the dinner table.
The race has humble beginnings. It was started more than 30 years ago and Ruthie Lynd, a veteran Turkey Trot runner, is again the chairman of the event. She enlists members of the Russell High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“It’s more than just a run, it’s a tradition for families and a reunion for the community,” she said.
It’s come a long way since the early days when Ron Simpson, Andy Ballash, Judge Joe Hood and others got together for a morning Thanksgiving run and gave some food and donations to local food pantries.
Now it has become a tradition where family from out of town gets together for a morning cruise.
The familiar course is the same as the longstanding Run by the River and this year takes on added significance because of the bridges. The new Ironton-Russell Bridge will be dedicated on Wednesday and then comes the Turkey Trot on Thursday.
“This may be the last race where we saw the old bridge,” Lynd said. “The bridges are the big story this year.”
While runners never cross the bridges, they are certainly in full view on the backside of the course. There will be a 5K and 10K division and Shawn Thornberry has donated a timing clock for runners to check as they cross the finish line.
The run is mostly non-competitive and some of the participants dress in Thanksgivingrelated attire. The race winners will receive a headband with turkeys on it, Lynd said.
“People can come and walk, run or trot,” she said. “Everybody is here for a good time. The weather is always a factor, but we’re pretty sure there will be a good crowd.”
The race starts at 9 a.m. right after the national anthem and a prayer, Lynd said.
Helping Hands received a trailer full of canned and boxed goods from last year’s Turkey Trot.
“We invite everybody to come out,” she said. “We’ll have announcements on social media.”
Call Lynd at (606) 831-8003 for additional information.
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