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Lawhorne and Porter Named Grand Marshals of the 48th Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving Morning Tradition To Benefit ALIVE!

ALEXANDRIA, VA – In recognition of their service to the City of Alexandria, retired Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and retired Alexandria City High School Principal John Porter have been selected as Grand Marshals of the 48th Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot.
     “It is an honor to announce that two of Alexandria’s most loved community members, Dana Lawhorne and John Porter, are this year’s Grand Marshals,” said Del Ray Business Association board member Gayle Reuter.  “Both are lifelong Alexandrians who have dedicated their lives to public service.”
Turkey mascot and senior man in ball cap.
Retired Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and the official Turkey Trot mascot at the annual Del Ray versus Old Town softball game. (Photo: Maureen Schweers)
    Lawhorne recently retired as the Sheriff of Alexandria after serving more than 43 years as a law enforcement officer, including 16 years as Sheriff and 27 years with the Alexandria Police Department.  For over 40 years, Porter served the community and the children of Alexandria as a teacher, assistant principal, and, for 22 years, as the beloved principal of Alexandria City High School.
    Both are long-time supporters of the Alexandria Turkey Trot.  Porter has participated in almost every Turkey Trot since the Thanksgiving morning tradition began 48 years ago. Lawhorne and his family have a 40+ year tradition of cheering on runners with neighbors.
Two men walking with marathon numbers attached to their chests.
John Porter (right) has participated in the Del Ray Turkey rot for 48 years. (Courtesy photo)
     The Alexandria Turkey Trot will take place on Thursday, Nov. 23 at 9 a.m.  This fast, flat, USATF-certified course runs through the heart of Del Ray, and is the Mid-Atlantic’s premiere Turkey Trot featuring over 6,000 runners, including some of the fastest elite runners on the east coast.  The five-mile run/walk goes through the heart of Del Ray, starting and ending at George Washington Middle School. The event is Metro accessible to the Braddock Road Metro Station.  Dogs and strollers are welcome, and have their own starting area.
John Porter (seated) and Dana Lawhorne cut up in the Commonwealth Avenue median where a chair was abandoned. (Courtesy photo)
John Porter (seated) and Dana Lawhorne cut up in the Commonwealth Avenue median where a chair was abandoned. (Courtesy photo)
    In the spirit of the holiday, runners and spectators are encouraged to bring two non-perishable food items on race day to support ALIVE!, a nonprofit serving those in need in the City of Alexandria.  Most needed items include rice, dry beans, boxed mac & cheese, canned vegetables, canned soup, canned fruit, canned tuna and/or chicken, or boxed/bag baking mixes.  Last year, ALIVE! received 1,168 pounds of food and a $6,000 check from the Del Ray Business Association to support their food program.

  For complete information on the race and to register, visit  Due to high registration numbers, early pre-registration is recommended.


Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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