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Get your gobble on at the 20th annual Midway Turkey Trot 5K

Bettina Giese

Lynden Legacy’s Midway Turkey Trot 5K promises a showdown with a turkey, fun prizes and a great cause.

Wobble before you gobble this Thanksgiving at the Midway Turkey Trot 5K. Event director Kim Shaw said the fun run will celebrate a special milestone this year.

“This is the 20th year that the Blanch family–and now as the Lynden Legacy Foundation–has done the Turkey Trot in Midway," she said. "And it's the Thanksgiving morning tradition for so many families.”

Bettina Giese is one of those hardy souls whose family of six has braved the rain, wind and snow for 19 years. She said the race started organically–she remembers showing up that first year with canned food that was collected from the back of a station wagon.

Giese said she frequently rounds up her parents, in-laws and large groups to participate in her favorite way to celebrate Thanksgiving. 

“You're looking at the scenery," she said. "There's people that come out in their front yards, and wave at you and ring their cowbells to encourage you. I would say the biggest thing is you're talking to other people, you're interacting. You're not just sitting in your house preparing for this meal. And then especially the charity aspect of it, knowing you were raising money for a certain person or family and our city was amazing.”

Bettina Giese

All proceeds benefit the Lynden Legacy Foundation. Its mission is to provide resources and support for families and friends caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The race starts at 9 a.m. at Midway Town Hall. There will be hot chocolate, bagels, fun prizes, finisher awards and a silent auction. Cost is $15 for those 10 and over; $10 for 9 and under and prices go up the closer it is to the race.

Giese has a great time checking out all the turkey costumes, especially on the dogs. She said some years have been so balmy her family wore T-shirts and others, not so much.

 “One of the first years we did it, it was like -10 degrees," said Giese. "And that was the year I had one kid in the stroller and another kid that thought they'd start walking and as we got going, they both ended up in the stroller with piles of blankets, icicles of boogers coming out of their noses. And that was a cold year.”

About 1,000 runners annually participate and Shaw said the turkey will be the bird to beat. 

“Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers and we will have a ‘turkey,' she said. "And just so you know, I did that in air quotes as it won't be a real turkey on the course. But everyone that beats a turkey will be entered in a raffle.”

The good news is, if you run slower than the turkey, it will make for a great conversation starter later when you’re eating it.