QUANTICO, Va. - Runners gathered in droves for one of two events: the Turkey Trot Mile and the Turkey Trot 10K. More than 1,000 men and women, as well as dedicated youngsters, raced through the streets of Quantico.
The Turkey Trot Mile started the day, designated for children under nine years old. The one-mile course led children around Lejeune Hall, and snaked its way out to Russell Road before returning to where it began. The sting of the cold autumn morning did not deter the volunteers or the scheduled runners.
“This is the final event in the MCM series for the year,” said Amy Beaulieu, the communications coordinator for the event. “This is a great way to end the year of running with the Marines,” said the Corinth, N.Y. native, as she pulled up the collar of her windbreaker to block a sudden gust of cool air.
A turnout of more than 150 children rushed through the course to return to their parents, who congratulated them on a job well done. As an incentive for the children, a petting zoo was erected just beyond the finish line. The petting zoo showcased a pair of turkeys, as well as some not-so-traditional holiday animals like ferrets, bunnies and hedgehogs.
“My son John wanted to run the Turkey Trot 10k,” said Lang Best, an Arlington, Va. native who brought his family to the event. While his boy trotted around the base, Best’s younger children frolicked with the animals. “I had to bring the family out.”
“He used to be a Marine and my son likes to run,” added Michelle Best. “My son beats him now.”
Following the fun run, the Turkey Trot 10K kicked off. The 6.2-mile course was the grown up alternative to the much more forgiving children’s race. Winners of the race were awarded a free frozen turkey and a pie, in line with the Thanksgiving holiday theme.
“I liked the energy!,” said Tiffany Catron, a Tazewell, Va. native who completed her first Turkey Trot 10K with a team of friends from the Washington, D.C. area.. “With everyone cheering you on, the music playing and the crowd you run with it’s really fun.”
The men, women and children who attended the event came for many different reasons. Some came for the exercise, and some came for the joys of being with a group of friends.
“This is a very festive, very fun event,” said Beaulieu. “We have a lot of people dress up in costumes and people really get into the holiday mood here.”
As the leaves turn colors and the weather gets chilly, the Marine Corps Marathons’ Turkey Trot has once again successfully closed out the year, until next year.