Runners Kick Off Thanksgiving Day with Waynesboro Turkey Trot

Posted: Updated:
Waynesboro Turkey Trot Waynesboro Turkey Trot

Often we think of Thanksgiving as a day to stuff ourselves and relax, but hundreds woke up early in Waynesboro to compete in the 15th Annual Turkey Trot.

The real early birds started the day off with a swim at 7:30 a.m., but the main course was a 5K run/walk. Even though the Waynesboro YMCA doled out awards to the top finishers, the real prize was something else.

"Families, kids in strollers, dogs. It's just an excellent opportunity for families to come together, celebrate the holidays, get a little bit of fitness in - some family fun in - before turkey day,” said Jeff Fife, executive director of the Waynesboro YMCA.

Around 400 athletes came together and bolted through Waynesboro early Thursday in low temperatures.

"Yes, last year we had the benefit of about 50 degrees, this morning people came in 20, 30 degree weather. The sun shined on us, but it was cold,” said Fife.

Fife believes the benefits outweighed the downsides.

"The proceeds of this go toward the scholarships for children and families that normally wouldn't be able to afford Y programming. We did over a $130,000 in scholarships this year alone, so events like this helps the Y continue our mission,” said Fife.

Besides indulging guilt-free after the workout, runners also support the cause. 

"It feels really great to get a run in before Thanksgiving, because then I definitely feel like I can eat whatever I want later that day and feel accomplished in the morning,” said Meredith Figgatc, runner. "I think it's a great cause as well. Just to give this money all to people who really need it - it's just a great thing to keep going." 

But her fourteen-hour drive from Connecticut to see loved ones again, along with a fourteen-year commitment to the event, Figgatc feels camaraderie is the real win.

"It's also just fun hanging out with family, and seeing everyone from back home again. Seeing friends, getting to talk to a lot of different people. It's grown over the years, so when we started there weren't nearly as many people as there are now. It's been really cool to watch it grow,” said Figgatc.

Several other out-of-towners participated Thursday. Travelers came all the way from Milwaukee, Denver, and even Washington State.

  • Sign Up for Email Alerts

    Sign up to receive news, weather, and breaking news emails from the NBC29 newsroom in your inbox daily.

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.