Each year the turkey trot gets a little bigger. This year we were up to 4,800 signed up as runners (this means so many more as observers and families supporting each other).

I was able to slow down somehow a little more this year and just take it all in:

The happy families gathering, the “snow” that BrainFood has set up at the finish line.

How to Host a Turkey Trot

If you ever want to start your own Turkey Trot, this is the way to do it:

Have the best “Dream Team” ever to put it all together.

I mentioned this before (back HERE), but boy howdy, this crew of organizers, who have been working at this for twelve years now, (Steve added in this year since Denny is away serving a mission), are miracle-workers.

Although this, especially as it grows each year, is a LOT of work, I’m so grateful they provide the perfect Thanksgiving morning tradition.

Get a lot of awesome volunteers.

The groups of missionaries there to help out. The team of those men who work together so flawlessly and selflessly to make it all happen. The other volunteers who work so hard to help with everything from passing out doughnuts and water and bananas to complicated registration problems to trying to keep things tethered in the wind to working with the police who do the barricades to close off streets to sound system details, to handing out medals at the end and a ceremony to honor the winners, you name it, LOTS of volunteers needed.

Create a “Thankful Wall.”

Speaking of volunteers, my brother-in-law and his family paint and transport our huge “I am Thankful” wall every year. (I love watching that thing get filled up.)

It goes from this:

To this:

To this:

(The kids at the end had to write “Knox,” my nephew’s name on that thing because fun, right?)

Have a Fun Run

I mean, come on, running with your friends for only a mile on Thanksgiving morning?

Yes please, I’ll take it.

The FUN RUN starts first:

That’s the part my girls get into:

Let’s skip now to the finish line where Dave was the announcer this year (everyone moved around positions a little this year which was fun):

(That’s my sis-in-law up there with Dave and she practically runs this whole thing. They brought her on the “dream team” a few years ago since she’s so organized and also she’s a graphic designer and pretty much everything pretty at the Turkey Trot was designed by her:)

Have a 5K.

This is the race the big masses come for, so let’s go back to the start line for that…

Here’s the view from above where our friend McKenna sang the national anthem:

(The anthem was BEAUTIFUL btw.)

And the view from below:

I was so thankful Josh came with his drone and captured that sea of people swarming through the “start” line from above.

(That’s the type of thing that gets you a little emotional when you think it started in a retention basin all those years ago.)

Some kids coming in at the finish line…

I wish I had a better picture of whoever was dressed up in that green hairy outfit up there on the right, I’d love to know who ran in that thing!

But I do have a better pic of these two sweeties:

Bring your dog along.

For a good race you’ve got to bring your dog along, right? She’s the ticket to a good race, I’m sure.

Bring your family too.

We have the BEST extended family ever.

I love that everyone gets to visit in the winter desert sun at our little Families Fighting Blindness area as we wait for runners and catch up with life.

Cousin love.

So fun to have Jonah and his family here this year for the first time:

So I got to have two brothers along for the ride.

I love them.

And I love these rays of lights that came on in for the awards ceremony.

Each year I’m even more in awe of Dave and his team, doing such an excellent job hyping people up and organizing and making everyone feel appreciated.

Donate to charities that do good.

And I adore that 100% of the proceeds go to BrainFood and Families Fighting Blindness.

My heart is so full for it all.

And for the people I love who make it happen.

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