By Evan Johnson
KILLINGTON—Every late November, runners lace up their sneakers, don a few extra layers and earn their Thanksgiving dinners with the Killington 5K Turkey Trot.
“It’s something we look forward to every year,” said Kate Munson, a local property owner who has been organizing the race for the past six years. “Not even a foot of snow has slowed us down.”
This year’s Nov. 24 race will feature some updates, including chip timing for all racers, a new post-race party, and a new organization that will benefit from funds raised.
After raising $3,700 for the Killington Rotary last year, runners will raise funds for the Killington Ski Club’s Scholarship Fund, which supports athletes and their families.
The first year Munson and her husband Jamie organized the race, they were handling registration the day of the race from the bed of a pickup truck in the parking lot and handing out numbers to 60 runners. Since then, the Turkey Trot has received its 501(c)(3) status and the race has grown in popularity every year. Sixty people showed up in the parking lot of Jax on the Mountain Road. Last year over 400 people ran. The steady growth has caused the race to outgrow its base and this year, the Pickle Barrel, located next door, will have the bar open following the race for food and refreshments. Dan Brown will provide the live music.
The race has become a much-anticipated part of Munson’s Thanksgiving tradition. Munson’s son dons a turkey costume for the race and at the exact middle of the race, Munson’s father-in-law hands out water to runners and blasts the theme song to the movie “Rocky,” on a loudspeaker.
“It’s cool to see people making connections after the race,” Munson said. “Sometimes people who didn’t have any Thanksgiving plans will connect with a local family and be invited over for dinner.”
Photo by Robin Alberti
Runners in a previous Killington Turkey Trot leave the parking lot of JAX Food & Games at the start of the 5K race to benefit local charities.