Turkey trot foodraiser set for Nov. 17

Yvette Ordonez

The 14th annual Turkey Trot 5k will be held Nov. 17 at 4:30 p.m. at Sikes Lake trail. The entry fee is one canned food item and the first 100 students that show up will receive a free, long-sleeved T-shirt. The food will be donated to the food bank and the first woman and first man to cross the finish line will receive a free turkey.

“Usually we have 150-200 people show up. We are expecting a good turn out because of the successes in the past,” Joey Greenwood, director of recreational sports of the wellness center, said. “We came up with the idea when we were trying to find something the students that stay for Thanksgiving break to do. Then, we decided to just make it before they leave so more can participate.”

Some students run the race as part of a family tradition.

“This will be my fourth year running,” said Alli Norman, senior in athletic training. “My family is from right outside of Detroit, and every year they have a Turkey Trot that my mom and I used to run in,” Norman said, “I thought it would be fun to carry on a new yearly tradition while I’m away at school.”

Mia Johnson, junior in finance, also plans to attend the Turkey Trot for her third year in a row.

“I didn’t pursue running after high school, the only times I run now are for the few 5K’s held in the Wichita Falls area,” Johnson said. “I enjoy running, but I think I enjoy running a little bit more when I know I’m helping a cause, like helping the Food Bank fight hunger in this case. It just makes you feel like a better person for doing it.”

And while the race typically attracts only a handful of students, some said the free T-shirt alone was enough to make them want to attend the charity event on campus.

“If there is gonna be free T-shirts, I’m there,” Kassandra Alonso, senior in nursing, said.

Becca Rhone, junior in special education, said she is also going for the free T-shirt.

“I usually go running at Sikes or at the MSU gym. I’m interested mostly for the shirt. Especially if it’s a long sleeve. I’m totally going,” Rhone said.

Greenwood said only students could receive a free T-shirt but anyone can run in the race.

“The reason we are only giving away T-shirts to students is because the money for T-shirts was paid for by students so we wanted to give some of that back to them. We decided it’s the fair thing to do,” Greenwood said.

Last year organizers said they collected about 500 pounds of non-perishable food items. Last year’s winners were Patrick Moore and Justine Hartwig.

This year, Norman said she hopes to win. “It would be really cool to win,” Norman said. “My mom is flying down to run with me this year and it would be great to win a free Thanksgiving dinner out of it.”

Greenwood said the family time is part of the experience.

“It’s a great way to give back and have a good time. It’s a foodraiser,” Greenwood said.

The weather will be 66 degrees and sunny. Come early for a free t-shirt. First come, first served.

Additional reporting by Katrina Prehoda