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The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

Fleet Feet to sponsor local Thanksgiving Day Race, Turkey Trax

The+annual+Columbia+5K+Turkey+Trax+will+occur+during+Thanksgiving+day+starting+and+ending+at+4th+Street+between+Cherry+and+Locust.+The+5K+course+will+hit+different+parts+of+downtown+Columbia+and+the+MU+Campus.+
Bailey Blackburn
The annual Columbia 5K Turkey Trax will occur during Thanksgiving day starting and ending at 4th Street between Cherry and Locust. The 5K course will hit different parts of downtown Columbia and the MU Campus.

The Thanksgiving Turkey Trax 5k Race will take place Thursday, Nov. 23 at 8:30 am.. The race, which can be run or walked, will be held in downtown Columbia at 4th Street and Cherry Street. 

The first Turkey Trax race took place in 2020 as a virtual event before evolving into an in-person event, much like other popular Thanksgiving 5ks such as  the Turkey Trot in St. Louis. The race has attracted a significant following among Columbia runners and families, with the past years drawing nearly 1,000 participants.

This race was started by Ultramax Event management services, which hosts the event in conjunction with local Fleet Feet, who has sponsored the event for the last two years. The partnership between Columbia’s local Fleet Feet and the Turkey Trax race was a natural fit of values, Fleet Feet employee Annie Fennewald said. 

“Turkey Trax 5k aligns with Fleet Feet’s mission to inspire our community to live a healthy and active life while building new friendships and strengthening old ones,” Fennewald said. “For years, the Turkey Trax 5k has been a local event that brings families and friends together, encouraging a healthy lifestyle and a whole lot of fun.” 

As the sponsor for the event, Fennewald said the local running goods store works to facilitate the race with Ultramax by hosting a packet pick up at their Columbia location and providing monetary support for the race for the goal of encouraging the local community to partake in a healthy and active lifestyle as they walk or run around downtown Columbia.

Despite the relatively low level of competition, RBHS runners have historically done very well in the Turkey Trax 5k. Grace Fischer, a varsity cross country (XC) runner who graduated in 2022, placed fourth in the 15-19 year old category, while on the boy’s side, XC runners Hudson Summerall, Ethan Wampler, Matthew Griffith and Weston Jokerst all placed in the top ten overall during their Turkey Trax debuts in 2021 and 2022. Jokerst has fond memories of the race, for which attending  has become a tradition for his family. 

“We’ve been doing the Turkey Trax for quite a few years now,” Jorkest said. “The first year I ran it, I didn’t really want to, but my dad threw me in it, and I heard that a few of my friends were doing it so I wasn’t that upset. I thought it was pretty fun and since then it’s sort of been a family tradition between me, my dad and my brothers. I would also love the chance at winning a free pumpkin pie.” 

We’ve been doing the Turkey Trax for quite a few years now. The first year I ran it, I didn’t really want to, but my dad threw me in it, and I heard that a few of my friends were doing it so I wasn’t that upset. I thought it was pretty fun and since then it’s sort of been a family tradition between me, my dad and my brothers. I would also love the chance at winning a free pumpkin pie.” 

— Weston Jokerst, RBHS Alumni 2022

Jokerst saw much success in the race. Most impressively, the RBHS alumni and varsity XC runner won the race twice in both 2021 and 2022 with a time of 16:41. 

“I never really take a recreational 5k seriously, but my competitive nature usually gets the best of me when I run them, and I always try as best as I can,” Jokerst said. “The past couple of years, I’ve definitely been trying to win because I knew the competition and that it wouldn’t really be too difficult for me. Specifically, last year it was more so a test to see how fit I could stay after the cross country season without running for a week and a half.” 

Current RBHS runners still participate in the race. Sophomore Blair Townsend, a runner with five years of experience, said she plans to participate in this year’s event. Townsend expressed excitement about participation, especially in reference to the prize awarded to each age group’s top three runners, a pumpkin pie.

“I love running in the Turkey Trax [race],” Townsend said. “I dress up for it. I wear a tutu and have fun socks, and I look forward to getting a pie.” 

Due to the casual nature of the 5k, serious runners, hobbyists and non-runners alike participate in this event.

“Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting your fitness journey, this event is perfect for all ages and abilities,” Fenneway said. “From parents pushing strollers and grandparents cheering from the sidelines to siblings and cousins racing against each other, the Turkey Trax 5k creates lasting memories and strengthens the bonds of kinship.

Will you be participating in the Turkey Trax race? Let us know in the comments. 

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About the Contributors
Ella Wampler, Staff Writer
Senior Ella Wampler is a staff writer for Southpaw and Bearing news. She adores the 2017 remake of Murder on the Orient Express, ongoing inside jokes and consuming unreasonable amounts of caffeine.
Bailey Blackburn, Photo Editor
Senior Bailey Blackburn is the photo editor for Southpaw and Bearing News. She is also the president of Film Club and is on the RBHS Cross Country and Track and Field team. In her free time she enjoys reading, listening to music, and painting.

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