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Hot to Trot
Earning the bounty of Thanksgiving DayBy TERESA HAMMOND

When first hearing we’d be adding an issue to our 209 schedule for the 2016 year, I froze a bit. Typically speaking I pitch my next issue ideas within a week or two of finishing what’s going to press.

209 writing is a fun departure for many of us, as our ‘day’ jobs are focused in our respective newspaper publications.

So here we are; a November publication —what could I contribute?

As the ‘Fitness and Beyond’ girl my head naturally went to Turkey Trots as a Full of Life feature. As I thought further it seemed this would be the perfect space.

I ran my first Turkey Trot in 2011. I still recall it vividly, standing at the start line of Stockton’s Run for Hunger with a handful of friends and wondering if I’d lost my mind.

I clearly recall looking at my friend G (aka Jennifer) and asking , "Have we lost our minds? It’s Thanksgiving. We should still be in pj’s, sweats at minimum and watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade.”

She chuckled, acknowledged the 10k we were about to run and reminded me of some of the guilt-free eating we could now do. Not one to argue with such logic, it made the 6.2 mile trek all the better.

Five years later, I can honestly say it was a great start to a day filled with family, friendship and food. So much so I’ve continued the tradition each and every year since, taking a bye only in 2015 to revisit the lazy morning watch parade tradition with my PIC (partner in crime).

Truthfully, it felt odd. Not to be confused, I typically return home early enough Thanksgiving morning to relax a bit and enjoy the holiday leisure. A couple of years we included helping with our community Thanksgiving meal. All good stuff if you ask me.

This year my PIC has expressed interest in giving a Turkey Trot a go to start our Thanksgiving Day. While we are still contemplating what will be served to eat that day, Turducken versus traditional bird, we do know we’ll begin at the Modesto Junior College Turkey Trot and Gobbler Walk.

Yes, I know the arguments: Why be up that early if you don’t have to? It might be raining and how is that possibly ‘fun’?

For this I blame a few things: the people, the environment and often times the cause. Most Turkey Trots are geared toward a family fun run, offering their proceeds to a not for profit. Not to mention their entry fees don’t break the bank. The Modesto event benefits track and field and cross country programs. Stockton’s run benefits the Emergency Food Bank of San Joaquin County.

Overall it’s just a great time. The energy of the people, families and sense of community are the perfect ingredient for a recipe of a day for giving thanks and counting blessings. Happy Thanksgiving.