Kalamazoo community members came out in droves for Saturday’s frosty morning annual Thanksgiving 5K.
Western Michigan University hosted its annual Turkey Trot at the Student Recreation Center on Saturday, November 23. The run began at 8:30 a.m. and went until the last runners came trotting in, finishing around 11.The run is an annual tradition for not just the community at WMU, but also for the greater Kalamazoo community.
“It was our largest Turkey Trot we ever had, we had 1,140 participants, so that’s awesome,” said Mike Berdowski, the race director for the Turkey Trot.
Once runners finished the race, they could head to booths next to the finish line that included free massages, photo opportunities as well as some booths by local area running organizations like the Kalamazoo chapter of Let Me Run, a program focused on getting young boys running.
In addition to the large turnout of runners, there were also a number of volunteers posted around the course and at the finish line, tasked with keeping the energy up.
“It’s not just you cheering on people, it’s also you’re contributing to that energy of everybody, having a good time and getting exercise before all of that Thanksgiving meal stuff you’re going to have,” said Bella Violante, a Natural Resource Management student at WMU who volunteered at the event.
“If I’m not here we’re still going to keep doing it,” said Berdowski, talking about the lasting place the annual race has in the Kalamazoo community.