Covering the Land of Lincoln

Urbana Park District hosts their 55th Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — This year’s Thanksgiving meal will be well earned for some people in the Champaign County area. The Urbana Park District held their annual Turkey Trot this morning. And people came out in droves to get one last run in before mealtime.

It’s been 55 years of non-stop turkey trotting. They even held a virtual run during the pandemic. This year the race kicked off at 9 AM near the Lake House of Crystal Lake. Solo runners, kids, families with strollers and dogs lined the starting area.

It only took the first runner five minutes to complete the race. But all of the first 800 people to cross the finish line received a Turkey Trot ribbon.

This year’s race featured a map where runners could put a pin on where they live. Some people traveled from as far as Washington state.

“Over the years we’ve added more and more photo opportunities just because we have so many people who choose to come here and this is the way they start their Thanksgiving. Even if their friends or families are coming in from out of town, often times they bring them. So, they just make it a big affair for the whole family,” said Outreach and Wellness Manager Elsi Hedgspetch.

The race was followed up with prize raffle. Runners had a chance to win a variety of gifts from businesses in the area, including a frozen turkey.

The Urbana Park District was also taking donations during the event. Donations help the park district off reduced-price summer camp for children in the area.

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