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St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and the 4th of July all looked a little different this year, but one QC holiday tradition was given the green light this year, with a few safety measures added of course.

Celebrating it’s 34th year, the Scott County Family Y McCarthy Bush Turkey Trot will take place live in person in downtown Davenport on Thanksgiving morning. “We spoke to a lot of the running community and we all came to the consensus that we didn’t want to do another virtual race,” said YMCA Branch Director and Turkey Trot Race Director, Luis Leal. “There’s to many and it being our biggest fundraiser for the Scott county family YMCA, we wanted to make sure we did it right and still engage the community.”

As many know, due to COVID-19 restrictions, large gatherings have been scarce this year, but with approval from the Health Department and the state of Iowa, Leal is confident that with the safety provisions he and his team have set up, this will be a safe and fun event for all. “Initially, we are looking at 25% of what we normally would have,” explained Leal. “That would have made it 750, but we are planning for 1500 as I think we are going to get a push primarily because we are the first live race in the area.”

Those numbers may seem high during these socially distanced themed times but for this event, there will be no post-race party or warming tent and all runners will be in waves of fifty and will be six feet apart in the corrals. Participants can wear masks if they like but are not required to but all YMCA staff will be in masks during the event. “It’s kind of just show up, park, walk up and go into the corral,” said Leal. “And within five minutes you’re going to be running.”

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With this year’s race being undoubtedly fun and exciting for those that partake, Leal talks about the bigger picture of why this event was so important to have for the YMCA. “It funnels into our annual campaign,” explained Leal. “Even with the pandemic, for this year 2020, 1.69 million goes back into the community in the form of scholarships, swim lessons and memberships. Over this summer, we were able to send 200 kids to camp Abe Lincoln for a full week with a full scholarship from this race and the campaign.”

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As Leal and the YMCA continue to seek out ways to help the community mentally and physically, this year’s Turkey Trot will also mark the last one at the Scott County Y location as next years event will be at the new R. Richard Bitner YMCA that is set to open on Dec 21st. “The course is going to be redesigned completely for next year because it’s going to be at the new location,” said Leal. “We’re looking forward to that.”

If the pandemic has shown us anything this year, it’s that family and community traditions are more important now more than ever and hopefully the fact that this event was approved shows hope on the horizon and gives Quad Citizens something safe and familiar to kick off the holiday season. “Safety is the primary focus,” said Leal. “And not just throwing an event together just for the sake of it. People need to get out safely, with precautions, but need to get out and interact with other human beings and I think that this race is going to help us bridge that gap a little bit.”

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For more information or to register for the 2020 Turkey Trot visit,https://www.scottcountyfamilyy.org/programs-activities/community-events/

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