Many races in the colder months say they’re “freezin’ for a reason,” but that’s exactly what hundreds of racers were doing in Shinnston Thursday morning for the annual Shinnston Turkey Trot. For some racers, that reason was to enjoy a fun time with those they care about most.
“Just come out and have a good time with friends, family. You know we got a pretty good group, the Mall Milers. We run every Sunday at the mall and just try to have fun with it,” said runner Travis Yost.
For others, it’s celebrating a personal achievement. While the winning time for the race was under 17 minutes, not every racer checked in so quickly. Many people chose to walk the course instead to help improve their fitness. But for some runners, it’s a sign of the progress they’ve made.
“Biggest thing I can tell anybody is just come out and do it. That’s the biggest thing. My first 5K was 46 minutes. I mean I walked the whole thing, I lost 50 lbs doing this, and I’m down to running 22-23 minute 5Ks now or better,” said Donald Marsh, who joined Yost in the race.
But whether running, walking or just supporting the racers, proceeds from the event went to support the Marie Gaston 4-H Scholarship Fund. Money from the fund goes to support 4-Hers in Harrison County with a variety of needs, from buying Sunday meals to scholarships. And thanks to community support, the fund will continue long after the race is over.
“Because 4-H is an extension of WVU, we can invest every year with WVU so that when we’re not doing the Turkey Trot anymore, when that day comes, if we decide hey, we want to go on vacation on Thanksgiving morning, Marie’s legacy will live on through the WVU Foundation,” said Stacia Talkington who organizes the event each year.