Three miles on road, one mile on grass, the Peoria Park District hosts the 50th Turkey Trot

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Sunday marked the 50th run of the yearly Turkey Trot, hosted by the Peoria Park District in collaboration with the Illinois Valley Striders.

Lester Hudson, the athletics coordinator for the park district, organized this year’s event at Detweiller Park in Peoria. Each year, the race is held the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

“Last year would have been our 50th anniversary; we did not run last year due to COVID,” Hudson said. “So being able to get back out here today has been great.”

The 4-mile race consisted of three miles on road, and one on grass.

Runners of all ages crossed the finish line in the hopes of taking home a turkey-shaped trophy.

“We had a great turnout, especially for trying to rebound off of not running the race last year,” Hudson said.

According to Hudson, what makes this race stand out is the laid-back environment.

“This is strictly a more recreational-based race so it’s more of a relaxed, fun kind of thing to do right before the holiday,” he said. “We have a great landscape, great space. Our parks team does a great job of keeping up with the park.”

He said it is more about community and less about competition.

“I think it’s important, as someone who played sports my whole life. Sometimes it’s just fun to come out, get out and do the things that you love. Just for the love of being able to do them and not having that competition aspect attached to it,” he said.

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