DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On Sunday morning, people gathered at Welcome Stadium for this year’s Dayton Turkey Trot 5k and half marathon. This year’s event partnered with charity YWCA Dayton, which is a local organization that works to eliminate racism and promote women.
“We give them a certain amount as a base donation. Then, we promote the event with them as our partner. Participants and everyone have the opportunity to donate as well on their own behalf,” said Dayton Turkey Trot Race Director Lisa Harwardt.
The event was unable to take place in person in 2020 due to the pandemic, so a virtual race was held instead. Though people were able to still participate in a virtual run again this year, Harwardt estimates anywhere between 800 and 1,000 runners showed up to trot in person.
Decked out in turkey costumes, Dayton Turkey Trot runners Jessica Blaza and brother Jonathan said they’re thrilled to be back this year running with other people.
“Decided to sign up one year and we’ve been doing it ever since. It’s a nice way to get some exercise in after the Thanksgiving holiday and just have fun,” said Jessica.
Mary Stamper was also at the Dayton Turkey Trot cheering on her daughter Angela who was running the 5k. Cancer-free for six months now, Mary says her daughter Angela was a huge help in her recovery. “She came to help me recuperate…and she’s been doing runs all over the state.”
Mary says watching and supporting her daughter run is a way to say thanks for everything. “She has come to help me out. She said, ‘Mom I wanna run this turkey run’…so I said, ‘well let’s go!'”
It’s stories like Stampers that are why Harwardt says she loves working these runs.
“Being in the community, having an impact. It’s one of the best things to see,” she said. “People just like have such a good time. You put in all this work, and made this event happen for someone to enjoy themselves come across that line and feel so good about it.”