No matter where you live in Michigan, or where you may be visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, a turkey trot likely isn’t too far away. In this latest episode of the Michigan Runner Girl show, Heather highlights several taking place around our beautiful Great Lakes State – all listed on the MRG Race & Event Calendar – and also sits down with the race organizers of her hometown turkey trot.
The Up North Media Traverse City Turkey Trot, now in its 11th year, is a Thanksgiving morning tradition for Heather and her family. In recent time, her dad has joined as a walker in the 5K run/walk event that starts and ends in the downtown area, at St. Francis High School on 11th Street. Heather talks with race founder Brian Hagerty, a hilarious guest who takes a look back on how this race started more than a decade ago, the changes it’s gone through over the years (venue and course updates being among them), the interesting costumes that come out each year, and how this year will be extra special because it’s his daughter’s birthday. Also joining Heather and Brian is Race Director Amy Fritz, a newer runner and recent half marathon finisher. She talks about how she trained for the Bayshore Half Marathon this past spring and was excited to exceed her goal of a 2-hour finish. (“I got really into running last year,” she shares.)
The conversation covers what runners can expect at the Traverse City event as well as explores why turkey trots are such great events for families. Brian shares how he’s taken part in several different ones over the years, in places such as Detroit and Chicago, while visiting family. Brian, Amy, and Heather all agree that these events help bring families together in a different and special way – whether your family members consider themselves runners or not. Most turkey trots are 5Ks, though some offer other distances, such as Traverse City’s 5-mile option. It’s just such a good way to get outdoors together. “It’s a neat space for everyone,” Brian says. “It’s special to see all those families get together,” Amy added.
Special discount codes are mentioned for both the Traverse City Turkey Trot and also the Grand Rapids event.
MRG Contributor Ali Lopez is back on the show to talk about her most recent adventure: the Bad Apple Ultra, which takes place in late October each year in Greenville, Mich. near Grand Rapids. This Oct. 27 event is a timed ultra marathon event held at Klackle Orchards. A timed ultra—what does that mean, you may be wondering. You have the choice of doing a 3-, 6- or 12-hour run on a 4-mile loop through an apple orchard, pumpkin patch, wooded trails and a carnival!
"When I tell most people that you run a 4-mile loop as many times as you can in the time you pick, the first question is always 'doesn’t it get boring???'" Ali says. "Absolutely not."
Ali shares what it was like to take on a race like this, and what it meant to her following a year in which she came off an eye injury (which prevented her from running and being active for a long while).
"When it got tough out there, I just remembered, 'I get to do this' and a smile would cross my face. I found that during each loop, my head was in a new place (as happens with ultras), and my body was in a new place."
The Michigan Runner Girl Show is made possible in part by the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa.
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A special thanks to Mike Moran, Mike Youker and Jonny Tornga of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out this studio's work