One family’s Thanksgiving tradition has grown and includes many within Godwin community

Participants in the Turkey Trot line up for a group photo.
photo Evi Spears

Most Thanksgiving mornings consist of cooking, sleeping in, or maybe playing football. However, junior Jacob Oberle’s family starts their Thanksgiving a different way.

The Oberle family likes to start their Thanksgiving with communion, competition, and overall unity by hosting an event called the Turkey Trot.

The Turkey Trot is a mile-long race around Wellesley Lake at 10:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. It was started as a reason to get out of the house on Thanksgiving Day and burn calories.

“Most of the time on Thanksgiving morning, people are just sitting around waiting for the main meal, but the Turkey Trot allows people to bridge the gap between the morning and the meal,” said Oberle.

The Oberles started this tradition with their immediate family in 2006. It then grew in size with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other extended family members joining in.

The Turkey Trot now has anywhere from 90-120 people in attendance annually. The number of participants depends on many factors, such as how many people are in town and how the weather is.

There is no fee to participate in the race, but participants must have an invitation. The invitations are sent out in early November to about 150 people.

According to Oberle, the Turkey Trot is only one mile, so it doesn’t take long to complete. It doesn’t take away from people’s time to cook, and is late enough in the morning so that people can still sleep in.

“It is at the perfect time and perfect duration so that families can attend it without being stressed about

GHS Junior Jacob Oberle photo Kristina Smith

preparation,” said Oberle.

“We just love getting to see all of our friends and tell them we are thankful for them,” said Oberle.

The race is not only a gathering of neighborhood friends, as there is also a competitive aspect to the event.

The race is divided into several categories.

There is a category for each age group: grandparents, strollers, and dogs. There is also a male and female division for each age group.

The winner of the entire competition receives a prize, as does the winner of each category. The overall winner receives a trophy and a homemade apple pie. The winners of each individual category receive their choice of a Thanksgiving side dish and also receive a medal for their success.

What started with 12 people more than a decade ago has turned into a popular event and an opportunity for togetherness thanksgiving morning while also burning calories in preparation for the big meal ahead of them.

“It is a great way to get families and friends to come together and be thankful,” said Oberle.

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