YMCA’s annual 5k Turkey Trot returns, providing in-person or virtual option


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SALISBURY, Md. – On your mark. Get set. GO! Those were the words runners and walkers heard this morning as the YMCA’s Thanksgiving Turkey Trot made its way back to the Eastern Shore.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year. So we like to connect with our community and bring members out from our branches as well as community members who just want to come run with family, pets, and kids. Just have fun,” YMCA Development Director Kevin Lescallette said.

“Just wanted to get out and start my day with a good workout, good exercise. It feels good. I know I’m going to overeat this afternoon, so kind of balancing things out a little bit,” Fruitland resident Holly Hawkins said.

This year’s 5k had a special twist, with participants taking part in person or virtually, with all proceeds going right back to the Y to support programs for all ages.

“I think that this whole race is really great because the money raised goes to scholarship funds at the Y. That helps underprivileged families that can’t afford for themselves or their children to come to the Y. So it’s a great effort,” local resident Gregory Murray said.

I’m told the most exciting part of the day is the unexpected friendships being formed. “Just came out to visit family in Maryland and ran a 5k and met another Marine,” participant Daniel Josephson said.

“He’s a brother by another mother. So it’s really great to meet him and I know he’s going to be a real success in the Marine Corp,” Murray said.

Those connections are what keep many coming back, year after year.

“We have a lot of repeat runners and walkers and they just love to come out today. Plus, they know they’re supporting a great cause too,” Lescallette said.

“I’m 85 and I had it on my bucket list to do a 5k when I was 85,”  Murray said. “I really don’t have anything else to say but I want to do lay down.”

Speaking of staying active, there’s still time to join in on the fun if you missed it Thursday.

For those who chose the virtual option, the last day to complete your course is Saturday. It was given to provide a way for everyone to participate, especially those who still aren’t comfortable being in large crowds.

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