A crowd of people chasing a giant turkey down the streets of downtown Davenport next Thursday is pretty common on Thanksgiving morning in the Quad Cities. But don’t worry, your turkey is safe in your home as this turkey is a runner dressed in a costume and the event is the 32nd Annual YMCA- McCarthy Bush Turkey Trot. “It’s the 32nd annual, which is a pretty big milestone in itself,” said Branch Executive Director & Turkey Trot Race Director, Luis Leal.
As Leal took over as Race Director for the Turkey Trot this year, he sees how important this race is to the community and wants to continue to build on it making it bigger and more assessable to everyone in the area. “My vision is to go into the schools and scholarship them based on grades and athletic ability and invite their best athletes and their best students to the Turkey Trot next year,” explained Leal. “And also go into the schools that can’t afford to run in an event like this because it is cost prohibitive and let them know that we’d like to sponsor a boy and a girl based on grades as well and they could bring a parent with them to run the event.”
This will also mark the second year that the Turkey Trot has added the 5 mile course in addition to the 1 mile and 5k run and this year made some course adjustments for the runners. “We did it last year (the 5 mile route) but it was a committee idea to reroute it, “said Leal. “We did a course change to minimize the confusion with the 5k course.” The feedback has been great and along with the help of area runners like Phil Young, owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Davenport, the 5 mile course won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. “We are following suit with the trend of adding a long run to the event,” explained Leal. “It just shows that because more people are getting involved with the 5 mile run, the community wants to be in shape because they are challenging themselves to do a little more and run a little longer and that’s the goal at the end of the day.”
As the YMCA’s mission has always been to promote a healthy spirit, mind and body for all through the programs they offer and to demonstrate a sincere concern for others, for their needs and well-being, having the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning couldn’t be more fitting. And Leal makes it clear that a great majority of the the money that is raised from the Turkey Trot goes right back to helping the children that come to the YMCA and Leal cant wait to make this already banner event in the QCA even bigger and better next year. “Thanksgiving is a day of giving,” said Leal. “And what better way to give back than to show up and run and give yourself some health and wellness, some community engagement and then help fund one of the many programs we have by just buying a race entry.”
The 32nd Annual YMCA- McCarthy Bush Turkey Trot is Thursday, November 22nd at the Davenport Family YMCA, 606 W 2nd Street, Davenport, IA. For more information or to register visit, www.scottcountyfamilyy.org/programs-activities/turkey-trot
Schedule of Events/Packet Pick Up
7:00 AM – 7:00 PM: Packet Pick-up & Registration (Wednesday, November 21st) Davenport YMCA
6:00 – 8:00 AM: Packet Pick-up & Registration (Thursday, November 22nd) Davenport YMCA
8:00 AM: FREE Child Watch (until 11am)
8:00 AM: Little Turkey Dash – Ages 2-10 (No Shirt) 2-5 year olds = 200m, 6-10 year olds = 400m
8:30 AM: Iowa American Water 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk
9:00 AM: Unity Point Health 5 Mile Run/Walk (FREE Child Watch) – NEW COURSE!!!
Rhythm City Casino 5K Run/Walk (FREE Child Watch)