Runners, walkers pound Johnson City pavement for 11th annual Turkey Trot

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Runners and walkers pounded the Johnson City pavement for the 11th annual Turkey Trot Thursday morning.

“It’s so much fun, we’re excited,” said Heather Ponce. “A good way to start off Thanksgiving.”

Ponce and her daughter Isabel drove from their home in Georgia to take on their first Turkey Trot.

But they are not the only first timers we met today.

“They like to sprint and then rest and then sprint and then rest,” said Mandi Gilliland.

The Gilliland’s are running as a family of five, with their dog joining in on the action.

“To show thanks to our family and to just enjoy the day together,” said Mandi.

It’s a day Patricia Allen is enjoying this year for her sixth time.

“Just hang in there, you’ll get through, one foot in front of the other,” Allen said.

She’s joining a crowd organizers say is close to 4,000 deep, filled with runners, walkers, baby strollers and pets.

“This year the money will go to ETSU Olympic Day,” said Johnson City Commissioner and race chairman, Jenny Brock.

While racing for a good cause and ringing in the holiday, some like to have a little fun.

“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so what better way to celebrate it than dressing up and running the Turkey Trot,” said John Wright.

While Wright didn’t take home the first place medal, Austin Whitelaw did. He set a new course record of 14 minutes and 43 seconds.

“My legs hurt a little bit, I’ve been standing for a while, but I feel good and ready to eat some turkey and get on with Thanksgiving,” said Whitelaw.

It was a fun day that has many eager for next year.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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