Co-run organizer Tom Fuduric writes in a guest column about the Taylors Turkey Day Run tradition.
Emphasis on the giving in Thanksgiving... She handed me a crisp twenty-dollar bill. The registration fee for the event was five cans of food or $5. I reached out to hand her 15 dollars in change, but she stopped me, "That's okay, I don't need change. This is a worthy cause." This sentiment was repeated several times that cold Thanksgiving Day morning at Eastside High School's cross country course as over 800 hundred people showed up at the 28th Annual Taylors Turkey Day 5 Can Run.
It's all about family and friends meeting on Thanksgiving Day morning.
Those who ran enjoyed perfect weather for this unique, low-key "appetite run" to benefit Greer Community Ministries. This is such a unique, family-oriented event. The only written advertising for the run is made up of a few flyers available at local running shoe stores. There is no preregistration; no clock to keep times; no age group awards to covet. It's all about family and friends meeting on Thanksgiving Day morning.
People show up, carrying bags of food and grinning from a generous, giving spirit to help others in need. "We weren't sure if there was a run planned for today, but we came anyway...like we always do." Every year, people reconnect and rekindle relationships. It's a family reunion of sorts! After everyone runs the distance of their choice (the closed loop course is 2,500 meters and people run whatever number of loops they feel up to) many smaller groups form to linger and fellowship with friends they see every year, or every other year, at the Taylors Turkey Day 5-Can Run.
The best in people really comes out at the special time, for this special event. Young and old show up...seasoned and competitive runners, along with many walkers, those pushing strollers, even a few well-behaved dogs bring their leash holders. Young children will walk up to the donation trailer and hand full bags of food to a volunteer, demonstrating what they have learned from their parents. We also meet many children of parents who were kids themselves when this event began in 1992.