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10th annual Turkey Trot to go forward

The tenth annual Turkey Trot in LaGrange is a go for Thanksgiving Day.

For the past nine years, Lisa Alford has always put on three- and five-mile runs the morning of Thanksgiving.

This year, due to COVID-19, she didn’t know if it would be possible or not.

“I decided literally on Friday to hold it again,” Alford said. “People have been asking about it. The Peachtree Road Race is virtual this year and everywhere else is doing virtual runs. I thought, who am I to have one here when everyone else is virtual.”

Alford said after multiple people reached out to her about doing it and said it would count as a portion of their virtual Peachtree races, she decided to go for it.

Alford, who owns Inner Path Yoga studio, will be raising money to support instruction in the area of daily living skills for students with disabilities.

Every year the trot is used to sponsor a variety of charities, and it has become a local tradition for area runners. This year, the race entry item is any amount of a monetary donation.

“We will give it all to the Troup County School System to support instruction for students with disabilities,” Alford said. “This will benefit LaGrange, Troup and Callaway schools.

The Turkey Troy will begin at 7:30 a.m. outside the yoga studio at 206 Smith Street.

“We are going to do the best we can this year to make it as fun and safe as possible,” Alford said.

Alford said this is the first year they won’t be able to have T-shirts.

“I am hoping that I will be able to come up with something for participants in the coming weeks,” Alford said. 

Alford said rain or shine, the run is on no matter what. Every year the winner takes home a lawn flamingo dressed as a turkey that they sign and bring back the next year.

“It all started ten years ago when there were a few of us couldn’t get up to Atlanta to run their half marathon,” Alford said. “There was a group of us that decided we would run Thanksgiving morning on our own. We told people we were doing that and ended up with 30 to 40 people running with us with their dogs and families.”

That’s when Alford came up with the idea to begin a tradition of doing it every year.

“I am really excited to host it again this year,” Alford said. “I was really hesitant about it at first because I think everyone still is pretty hesitant about creeping back into some sort of normalcy. After seeing all the comments on Facebook after I announced it, I started to get excited again.”