Dozens of people gobbled their way to the finish line of Prospect Park’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.
The yearly race, organized by the Prospect Park Track Club, is a five-mile run through Brooklyn’s Backyard.
This year’s Turkey Trot kicked off at Center Drive, not far from the famous Prospect Park gazebo, and continued across the green space, onto the loop, where it headed south on West Drive. Participants then ran around the loop to finish at the Le Frank Center at Lakeside.
“The fall foliage makes it the best time to run across this park,” said Flatbush resident Kathleen Uric, a second-time Turkey Trot runner. “It is all fun. After participating in this, I feel filled with energy for the rest of the day.”
Runners were broken into two “waves,” with staggered start times, based on their estimated pace. The first wave got to stepping at around 8:15 a.m., with the last of the trotters crossing the finish line at around 10:30 a.m.
For runners and spectators alike, the event was rooted in holiday spirit.
“I’m of the idea that waking up early and getting active on a holiday is the best way to enjoy it,” said Jessy Cornegie, a Midwood resident who has participated in more than five local races. “Everyone here seems more excited than at most other races because everyone brings the holiday spirit. They are excited which is contagious.”
This year, the Prospect Park Track Club partnered with the American Indian Community House — a nonprofit serving the needs of Native Americans living in New York City — to shine a spotlight on, and raise funds for, their philanthropic work. The race secured approximately $18,000 that will be donated to the organization.
“What a better organization to support on Thanksgiving than one that defends the rights and dignity of Native Americans,” said Flatbush resident Kamron Razaar, who attended this year’s Turkey Trot to support family members running the race. “We should never forget what this holiday is about. We can’t forget that Native Americans are still here and they’re struggling. They were some of the most affected communities from Covid and they need all the support they can get.”
Founded in 1969 by Native American volunteers, the American Indian Community House works to improve the well-being of local Native Americans by increasing their visibility and cultivating understanding and respect of their traditions. The group is currently composed of Native Americans from 72 different tribes.