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LONG STANDING TRADITION: Dozens of runners participate in 10th annual Turkey Trot

Despite rain and cold weather, dozens of runners showed up for The Inner Path Yoga Studio’s tenth Annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. The race is always free to run, with Alford just asking for a donation each year to benefit a group or organization in the community. 

This year the Turkey Trot raised more than $500 to benefit students in the Exceptional Education Program in the Troup County School System. 

“Despite the rain, COVID, not planning this until just last Friday and not having all the people who usually help out, this turned out to be a great day,” Alford said. “I am surprised I had more than just runners who needed to do the Peachtree 10K.” 

Alford said leading up to last week a few local runners had reached out to her about hosting the annual run. 

“As it got closer to Thanksgiving I think people start thinking about their traditions, and the Turkey Trot is one of them,” Alford said. “Originally, I was really bummed because I don’t like change and I felt like if I couldn’t do it like I want to then I won’t do it all.” 

Alford said after receiving some encouragement about doing it from her friends and local runners, she decided to go through with it. 

“Even with everything going on and in my own brain bringing me down, here we are with a large group of runners still wanting to carry on the tradition,” Alford said. “This is a lot of people’s family tradition where they get their kids up and go run. It’s what a lot of people in LaGrange look forward to on Thanksgiving. I like traditions because I’m very constant.” 

Every year the winner takes home a lawn flamingo dressed as a turkey that they sign and bring back the next year.

Two first timers in the Turkey Trot finished first. Jake Kirby finished first for the men and Audrey Tomlinson finished first for the women.

“This has never been a super organized thing or super serious but always very fun,” Alford said. “If I have to make it serious I probably will not do a good job. This is a family tradition. It is a community tradition and we’ve raised a lot of money for great causes over the years.” 

To celebrate running five miles on cold Thanksgiving mornings, Alford always prepares mimosas for runners at the finish line.