Naperville Now 11-22-18

By the time all of the over 7,000 turkey trotters crossed the start line, the fastest runners had already passed the first mile.

But Naperville’s Turkey Trot has something for everyone, whether they’re racing to the finish or just proud to participate.

“You see so many families, all shapes and sizes, all ages coming out to do this together. It’s a great way to start a healthy tradition and show kids and people of all ages it’s great to be healthy and active together family and it’s something everyone can do together,” said turkey trotter Elina Savoie.

Another draw for the event is the fact that it’s for a good cause.

It’s organized by the Naperville Noon Lions Club, which uses its proceeds to fund vision and hearing care for those who can’t afford it.

“We take this money, and the Lions Club as a group, we’re in charge of sight and hearing, these are the things we care about. We’re getting glasses for people in the area for little kids and seniors in the area who couldn’t afford them otherwise. So we do wonderful things with this,” said Glenn Behnke, race director of the Turkey Trot.

Part of the Turkey Trot’s fun is the spirit that everyone brings to the event.

Some bring a friendly competitive edge; others bring Thanksgiving-themed hats and costumes.

“My brother got married a couple months ago, thought it would be as a little family induction we’d all dress up as turkeys, do a 5K, have a little bit of family bonding,” said Elizabeth Bagnuolo, a turkey trotter who was dressed head-to-toe in a turkey costume.

And that spirit from the runners makes the turkey trot a lot of fun for the over 200 volunteers it takes to put on.

“It’s a fun way to start off the holiday, the energy here is great, i love seeing the participants dressed up with crazy hats and it’s just really fun,” said Jenny Chidlow, a Turkey Trot volunteer.

The community spirit of the Turkey Trot is something that keeps runners and volunteers coming back to celebrate year after year.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.

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