EASTON — Over 800 people participated at the annual Turkey Trot 5K on Thursday, Nov. 28, at the YMCA of the Chesapeake in Easton.
At the event, there were avid runners, family teams, dogs, babies and festive costumes. The race was broken into categories marked by prospective finish times, with the first group racing under 20 minutes, then to 20 to 30 minutes and ending on 30 minutes and over.
Before the race, the crowd was warming up and dancing to music to keep warm and stay in the holiday spirit. To start the race on a strong note, YMCA Easton Branch Executive Director Derek White led the crowd in prayer.
“We are so thankful for everything God has given us, and we are so thankful to be here today amongst friends and celebrating the Y’s mission to never turn people away,” White said. “We are just blessed that God give us the opportunity to see the day.”
The male overall winner was Khalid Kurtom with a time of 17:48, and the female overall winner was Judi Jones with a time of 18:05.4.
The YMCA of the Chesapeake hosted six Turkey Trot 5Ks across Delmarva.
Proceeds from each event will support children across the Eastern Shore who live at or below the federal poverty level so they can attend Y programs that keep them safe and engaged. YMCA Easton Branch Health and Wellness Director Amy Schiefer said a large portion of the proceeds go toward the YMCA’s Camp Lazy Days.
“It is a six-week camp where it is completely free for the participant and then the rest goes into our fund that we use to financial aid, camp, memberships,” Schiefer said. “It basically allows to never turn anybody away based on their inability to pay.”
Glenn Baker of Easton has been carrying on the tradition of attending the Turkey Trot for the past 15 years. Over time, it has grown to be a family affair.
“I am here today with my wife, my daughter, my granddaughter,” Baker said. “It is a family affair and an annual tradition. I enjoy that over time, the crowds get bigger and bigger every year. Although it is a cold morning, we are very happy to be here and plan on coming back every year.”
The YMCA of the Chesapeake operates facilities in Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Talbot, Queen Anne’s and Wicomico counties in Maryland and on Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Last year, the YMCA of the Chesapeake provided more than $1,750,000 in assistance to over 16,000 community members. Additionally, the Y spent $200,000 on outreach efforts and programming in the communities it serves.
Across the Shore, Ys engage 40,000 members and their families, regardless of age, income or background, to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the Shore’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.