The Athens Review
Before devouring the drumstick on Thanksgiving Day, an Athens tradition is to get up early for the Cain Center Turkey Trot.
The event is now in its 15th year, and figures to have a large number of entries when the race begins at 8 a.m, Nov. 22. Last year, a record 314 runners were up for the challenge. Cain Center employee Bethany Airhart said registration is underway for those who want to sign up early.
The trot is always an adventure, because you never know what kind of weather you’ll get in late November. In 2011, the race began in an early morning fog, with temperatures that dipped to the upper 30s.
Trotters come from all over East Texas to travel the 3.1-mile course. Awards will be given for the overall winner in the male and female division. In addition, a winner in each age division will be acknowledged.
Danny’s Smokehouse in Athens will smoke turkeys for a drawing the day of the race. Each race participant will receive a T-shirt, and a packet containing a ticket for door prizes. Area businesses have donated items to be given to those whose tickets are drawn. Anyone who brings a non-persishable food item to be donated to the Athens Food Pantry will receive an extra ticket to go in the drawing for a Danny’s Smokehouse turkey.
Runners don’t have to travel the course alone. They can also enter a dog for $10. The pooch must stay on a leash during the trot, however. Prizes are awarded to the dogs who distinguish themselves during the race.
If you haven’t registered already, you can sign up for $22, Through the Nov. 21. On race-day, the entry fee is $25. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. on Turkey Day.