Cold temperatures early Saturday morning didn’t deter the heat of more than 100 runners and walkers who came together for a common purpose: to help children in the Laurel community.
Sally Siler of Bimbo Bakeries USA was the organizer of Saturday’s event, which brought together 117 runners to brave the cold to raise money for the Backpack Club of Laurel County. The Backpack Club provides school children with non-perishable snacks to ensure the child has nutritious food for a weekend. Snack bags are usually sent home with county schoolchildren on Fridays.
The themed race, held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, drew a variety of participants. Kelsey Napier donned an orange, yellow and brown skirt over her sweatpants, coat and sled to mark the race moment. Others wore decorative headpieces with turkeys while one runner wore a turkey outfit.
The route sent runners and walkers from Farmer’s Market along Dixie Street to Whitley Branch Veterans Park and back along First Street behind London Police Station and back to Farmers Market.
Corbin resident Connor Messer was the first to finish the race, logging in at 18 minutes and 33 seconds. Messer is a member of Corbin High School’s cross country and track and field team, where he has participated for five years.
“I started when I was in 8th grade,” he said.
He went out Saturday morning for a good cause as well as a purpose.
“I walked out because of the prize money – $150. I really need it,” he said.
Siler was very pleased with the participation in the Turkey Trot, stating that the entry fee of $30 per participant was offset by sponsorships from area businesses. As the entry deadline got closer to the race date, the entry fee dropped to $20.
“Bimbo Bakeries USA and First National Bank of Manchester covered the initial costs of the race,” Siler said. “Then we had sponsorships for $50, $100 and $150.”
As the race wrapped up, Siler said the event brought in nearly $6,300. The check was given at the end of the race.