Annual Eagle-Vail Turkey Trot: Making room for pie since 2007
If you go ...
What: 5K Eagle-Vail Turkey Trot.
When: Registration opens at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K starts at 9:30 a.m.
Where:The course starts and fishes at the Eagle-Vail pool.
Cost: Race-day registration is $15.
More information: The route takes trotters down Eagle Road, looping around Stone Creek and down Deer Boulevard, with the turnaround at Deer Court. Visit bit.ly/2giqJJw to learn more.
EAGLE-VAIL — What started 10 years ago in John and Maggie Halloran’s garage with about 50 of their closest friends and family is now a Thanksgiving staple of the community.
The annual 5K Eagle-Vail Turkey Trot has come a long way since its inception, now receiving close to 1,000 participants huffing and puffing before turkey and stuffing, and it’s not slowing down any time soon.
“It’s always super fun,” John said. “Everybody always seems to be in a good mood, and we’re just glad to be a part of the tradition we started. It’s a good way to start Thanksgiving.”
And it’s all for a good cause. These runners of all ages, as well as walkers and pushers of strollers, pay $10 to pay the price for all things pumpkin and spice. Money raised goes toward YouthPower365. Race-day registration costs $15.
To date, the Eagle-Vail Turkey Trot has raised more than $119,000 and has had more than 4,800 participants.
A donation is also made every year to the Eric Spry Memorial Scholarship. Eric was the winner of the first annual trot as a Battle Mountain High School student.
There’s also prizes for best costumes, both on humans and dogs, as well as an award to the mom working the hardest wrangling the most kids on Thanksgiving morning.
A Chewbacca costume won the award last year, and there’s been everything from a silverware set to penguins.
“It’s the Turkey Trot, but we’ve seen cows running the routes, super heroes, kids in wagons and on bikes, and even the dogs get involved,” said Michael Slevin, of trot sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Colorado Properties.
TURKEY TROT HISTORY
John remembers attending a Turkey Trot in Chicago, one his old football coach began.
After moving to the valley, the Hallorans would travel back to Chicago for Thanksgiving. However, the first year they couldn’t make it back, they decided to bring the Turkey Trot to their new home.
The first three years were run out of their garage. The first year was very cold, so the pre-race and post-race festivities took place in the garage. Neighbors started wondering what was going on as about 300 people gathered that third year.
The fourth year, the Eagle-Vail pool was constructed and they approached John about hosting the Turkey Trot at the new location.
“It was great to say OK because I could get people out of my house using my bathroom and stuff,” John said.
Last year, more than 800 participants joined in on the Eagle-Vail Turkey Trot, and the max has been about 950. John said with the lack of snow, he’s expecting one of the best turnouts yet this year.
“It’s just a great community event,” Slevin said. “It’s just great to see the community come together on Thanksgiving, regardless of the weather there’s always a great turnout.”
The course starts and finished at the Eagle-Vail pool. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K starts at 9:30. The route takes trotters down Eagle Road, looping around Stone Creek and down Deer Boulevard with the turnaround at Deer Court.
“We try to keep it simple and just have fun,” John said.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
The greater community is invited to join a Celebration of Pepi’s Life on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.