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AEDC Turkey Trot again on pre-Thanksgiving menu for runners and their families

  • Published
  • By Bradley Hicks
The days may be getting shorter and the air chillier, but don’t put away those sneakers just yet.

The 36th annual Arnold Engineering Development Complex Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run at Arnold Air Force Base will take place this year on Nov. 10 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Arnold Lakeside Complex, or ALC. Once again, the Company Grade Officers’ Council at Arnold is hosting the event.

“It is definitely a Thanksgiving-time tradition,” said CGOC member Capt. Elizabeth Sewell. “The CGOC loves being able to keep this tradition alive, especially throughout this pandemic. It is a wonderful way to bring everyone together to start off the holiday season.”

Race registration will be Oct. 26-28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Café 100. Those interested may also email by Oct. 29 to register.

The race is open to military personnel, Department of Defense civilians, contractors and their families in accordance with company policy and supervisor approval.

“Anyone who has access to the Arnold Village is eligible to participate, so family members who are sponsored on may participate as well,” Sewell said. “The more the merrier. We love seeing families get out together and running. It brings the Thanksgiving spirit to the race.”

Participation in the Turkey Trot is free with the donation of a nonperishable food item at the time of registration or on the day of the race. Donations collected by the GCOC will be provided to a local food bank.

For those wishing to snag a commemorative 2021 Turkey Trot T-shirt, the entry fee is $10 plus the donation of a food item.

Runners may also register at the ALC on the day of the race, but Turkey Trot T-shirts will not be guaranteed to day-of registrants. If an individual registers via email and wants a shirt, they can pay the $10 on the day of the race or may contact Sewell or 2nd Lt. Mason Lucas to arrange a time to meet.

This year’s 5K route will again take runners from the front of the ALC to a path that leads to the back of the building and along Woods Reservoir. The trail will then take runners through the Arnold Village community and back to the ALC. Runners will complete this loop twice to finish the race.

Cones and markers will be set up and volunteers will be present to help guide the runners.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and top three female 5K finishers. As is tradition, the top male runner and top female runner will each receive a frozen turkey to take home ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Those wishing to get outside and enjoy the autumn scenery around the ALC have the option of completing the Turkey Trot route at a more leisurely pace by taking part in the 2.5K walk rather than the 5K race. Anyone interested in doing so may indicate this at the time of registration.

“Walkers have the option of only doing one loop around the Arnold Village running trail,” Sewell said. “We encourage everyone to come out, walkers and runners.”

A tradition started two years ago will continue, as the ALC will open following the conclusion of the Turkey Trot so participants can grab a drink, recover and socialize.

Precautions to guard against the spread of COVID-19 will be in place for this Turkey Trot. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be required to wear masks while outdoors. Unvaccinated individuals will need to be masked if within 6 feet of other participants, but runners will not be required to wear a mask during the race regardless of vaccination status. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available to participants at the race.

The Turkey Trot will be held rain or shine.

Disclaimer: The CGOC is a private organization which is not part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and has no governmental status.