Staples students flock to the Turkey Trot

Staples students flock to the Turkey Trot

Usually teenagers like to sleep in whenever the chance presents itself. You would think the same applies to Thanksgiving — more so, maybe. But, oddly enough, on Thanksgiving at 8 AM, around 4,500 runners, including many Staples students and alumni, flocked to the 38th annual Turkey Trot run by the Pequot Runners Club in Southport.

The race is the second largest in Connecticut, behind the Manchester Road Race, also held on Thanksgiving day, which is approaching its 80th anniversary in 2016.

But, the Turkey Trot wasn’t always so large. Al Bruce, one of about thirty race volunteers, remembers when he first ran the race about twenty years ago. “There were 400 runners. And now there are 4,000. So it’s grown a lot,” he said.

According to Chris Ogren, the coordinator of race volunteers, the average age group is runners in their 40s because people have been doing it for so many years, so it’s become a tradition to them.

But the race has become a tradition for the younger runners too. Shannon Nolan ’21 and her sister Emily ’23 run it with their family, so it’s become a Thanksgiving tradition, just as important to them as the turkey and stuffing. To Shannon, the best part about running the race is the finish, and just seeing her “entire family there, cheering [her] on.”

Staples alum Ollie Hickson ’15 agreed that the community vibe and social aspect of the race are the best part. Despite his former spot as the top varsity cross country and track runner, he casually jogged it with his friends and continued the tradition he started in high school.

“It was great to run it with my friends again,” Hickson said. “Life’s really busy in college, so it’s nice to be able to catch up with them.”

The Pequot Runners Club’s Turkey Trot has managed to connect people from various towns as well as families and friends. Ellie Shapiro ’17 and Melissa Alvarado ’16, friends for the past three years, ran the race together, like they did last year and the year before.

“The best part of the race is being with friends,” Alvarado said. “And that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.”