Community NewsDel Ray Doings

PHOTOS: 6000 Participants Gather for the Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot

Runners and community members gathered at George Washington Middle School to take part in the race and donate food to ALIVE charity. 

People running a marathon.
Over 6000 people hit the streets of Del Ray for the 48th Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot. (Photo: Lucelle O’Flaherty)

ALEXANDRIA, VA- 6,000 people from Alexandria and D.C. area gathered for the 48thAlexandria Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. a fun-filled Thanksgiving morning tradition hosted by the Del Ray Business Association for runners and walkers alike. In addition to all those eager racers in running shoes gathered at the starting line were two of Alexandria’s Living Legends, who led the event as this year’s Grand Marshals, retired Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and retired educator John Porter.

Two men wearing turkey hats sitting in back of a pickup truck.
Retired Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and retired educator John Porter hitched a ride as Grand Marshals of the 48th Annual Alexandria Turkey Trot in the pickup bed of a brand new Toyota Tundra driven by Alexandria Toyota’s General Manager Andrew Crow Mitchell. (Photo: Lucelle O’Flaherty)

It was an early start for those taking part, some of whom brought their whole families along. But the weather was perfect for it with temperatures at around 53°F. Runners picked up their packets at 7:30 am and kicked off their run at 9:00 am. The race concluded at 10:30 am after which the awards ceremony commenced.

People linking up at a brick building.
Participants picked up their registration packets for the Alexandria Turkey Trot at George Washington Middle School. (Photo: Eliza North)

The first ever Alexandria Turkey Trot event took place in 1975 and 244 runners reportedly took part, with Jack Mehurin taking first place at 25:07minutes.

The following year, it was 400 runners. In 2012 the venue moved to George Washington Middle School where the turkey trotters of all ages and backgrounds gathered this morning.This year more than 6000 participants joined the event. Braddock Road Station, the closest metro to the event was swarmed with runners, volunteers and onlookers.

Good friends Katie Brisco and Angela Elder who live in the area spoke to Zebra Press having just finished their run.

“We’ve been friends since college,” says Brisco, “we’re just casual runners, but we had to come to the Turkey Trot, it’s our annual tradition!” “We’ve been doing this for ten years,” says Elder.

Two women posing for a photo wearing marathon with registration numbers
Katie Brisco and Angela Elder at the Alexandria Turkey Trot. (Photo by Eliza North.)

The Ernst family was also there to take part in this tradition.“We aren’t avid runners, but we wanted to come and do something as a family,” says Amy Ernst, who ran with her husband and three daughters. 

People lined up at the finish line against a bright green banner.
Mike Ernst, Amy Ernst and their three daughters, Olivia, 21, Abigail, 19, Avery13. (Photo by Eliza North.)

There were many four legged friends who came to take part in the race too. Some ran the trail and others waited patiently at the finish line.

Beige long-eared fluffy dog at 5k Alexandria Turkey Trot.
Lily came to support her running humans today. (Photo by Eliza North.)

But it wasn’t just runners who made this event special. Volunteers from the non-profit organization ALIVE were there to collect food donations for Alexandrians in need. ALIVE! is the oldest and largest private safety net in the City of Alexandria dedicated to fighting poverty and by providing help with family assistance, food, furniture and housewares.

Two people holding green bags.
Karl Bach and Tiffany., volunteers for ALIVE.! (Photo by Eliza North.)

Karl Bach who is the Volunteer Coordinator for ALIVE! said runners as well as other members of the community have come to donate. “Around 1200 pounds of food have been donated already,” he told Zebra Press, “This will get sorted through by the volunteers and staff over the next few days and will go to those in need in the coming week.”

Tiffany, another volunteer, says this is her first time doing the race with ALIVE!. “I’m involved with the charity professionally and I know how important volunteer work is, so I came here to give back to the community. I found out about ALIVE through Volunteer Alexandria.

A seated man and lady talking with microphones above the gathered crowd. at the Alexandria turkey Trot.
Carl, Volunteer Coordinator at ALIVE accepts $8,000 donation check from Gayle Reuter from the Del Ray Business Association. (Photo: Eliza North)

An $8000 donation, gained through ticket sales was donated by the Alexandria Turkey Trot to ALIVE, which will help the organization continue to distribute 20,000 meals a day in Alexandria per month. 

Black lady with safety vest on poses with a big box of bananas.
Lenora Robinson handing out bananas to hungry racers. (Photo by Eliza North.)

Lenora Robinson is another volunteer who was at the event feeding the hungry. But she was not affiliated with any charity or organization. She’s just a generous and thoughtful Alexandrian who wanted to do something kind for the runners and their families. “I enjoy volunteering and giving back. I know what it means to be hungry. I want to serve my community.”

lady and a big turkey mascot.
Vice Mayor Amy Jackson was there to show her support for the event. Pictured here with the Turkey Trot Mascot. (Photo by Eliza North.)

Everyone who took part was there to give back to the community and share this fun experience with their friends and family, but this was after all a race and there were of course winners:

Three people and a big turkey mascot stand in front of a green finish line banner.
The top three male finishers at the Alexandria Turkey Trot with the mascot. (Photo by Eliza North.)
In the men’s division:

Willie Fink ran first at 22:50 minutes, 4:34 MIN/MI pace. (Fink also finished first in the 2022 Turkey Trot)

Zach Herriott was second at 23:48, 4:46 MIN/MI pace.

Yenew Getahun came in third at 23:54, 4:47 pace.

Three women standing with bug turkey mascot at finish line.
The top three female winners at the Alexandria Turkey Trot. (Photo by Eliza North.)
In the women’s division:

Samantha Nadel finished first at 26:32, 05:19 MIN/MI pace.

Alyssa Taylor was second at 27:53, 5:35MIN/MI pace.

Marta Mekonen came in third at 28:10, 05:38 MIN/MI pace.


For more pictures, see The Zebra Press Facebook page below.

Eliza North

Eliza North is a British/American writer. She is currently a freelance reporter at Zebra Press. Eliza studied Social Sciences at Kensington and Chelsea College, and went on to earn her Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Kent in Canterbury England. She recently graduated from The University of Cambridge, earning her Masters degree in Creative Writing.

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