Thousands came to Parkersburg’s 44th annual Turkey Trot 5K

To lighten the mood and keep it fun, many dress themselves and their pets up.
WTAP News @ 6
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 3:57 PM EST
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The 44th annual Parkersburg Turkey Trot went off with a bang as thousands came together Thanksgiving morning to walk and run before sitting down with their families for Thanksgiving.

Waking up early on Thanksgiving and coming down to the City Park for the Turkey Trot 5K is a tradition for many families in Parkersburg.

For some, participating in the race is a way to remember loved ones that are no longer with them. Wearing shirts and running and walking in their honor.

“It’s in honor of my good friend Jerry Skidmore who did all of these until he passed away this year,” said Larry Maxwell.

“It was my idea for us all to get together and run this 5k today. We’re doing it in remembrance of my dad Woody Miller. He was very involved with Homecoming and we’re wearing these shirts today that say, “love like Woody” and has a little rubber ducky on it because he really loved the rubber ducky derby and enjoyed it every year, ” explained Dan Miller.

For others it’s another way to spend quality time with those in from out of town.

Alyssa Huggins was at the Turkey Trot with her daughter Ayla Huggins. Alyssa said they have done other Thanksgiving 5K races, but this is the first year doing one in Parkersburg. “This is something we do together as a family. We always try to get a couple 5ks in a month, so especially with it being Thanksgiving. I think it’s a good part of the community and something we can do together as a mother/daughter duo.”

People of all ages participated. Race officials say over 2,000 people registered around 4,000 showed up.

To lighten the mood and keep it fun, many dress themselves and their pets up.

Chase Sullivan said he likes to dress up each year. This year he could be seen in a pickle costume.

“I always go with something stupid so I thought I was this for halloween so I might as well throw it on. I was spiderman last year and then the year before that. I was trying to be a horse because I have an inflatable thing but I couldn’t find the motor to do it. So I had to just go with something last minute, but everyone likes pickles so why not?”

Before and after the three miles, people were connecting with friends also participating in the race with smiles, conversation, and laughter filling the park.

Dan Miller shared what we hopes everyone takes away from the holiday event. “We hope everybody has a great time and is very thankful for this wonderful country that we live in and that we’re free to do stuff like this.”

The winners of the men and women completed the run quickly.

Breydon Gates was the men’s winner, finishing the race at 14 minutes and 49 seconds.

Emily Williams Burch was the women’s winner. She set a personal record, finishing the race at 18 minutes and 59 seconds. Emily said she has a marathon next week and this was part of her last training block.

Both Breydon and Emily were excited with their first place finishes.

“I’m so excited that’s like a stretch dream goal and I can’t believe it happened. It was a great race out there though,” said Emily.

“Pretty good. It was fun it was good competition this year,” said Breydon.

Both Breydon and Emily said they were going to be spending the rest of the day with their families.

Breydon Gates and Emily Williams Burch finish first for Parkersburg's 44th Turkey  Trot
Breydon Gates and Emily Williams Burch finish first for Parkersburg's 44th Turkey Trot(Sharron Marks)
Breydon Gates14:49Emily Williams Burch18:59
Ethan Yost15:02Kelly Moyer19:13
Scott Burnham15:53Laurel Carpenter20:06
Blake Rodgers16:04Madelin Gardner20:57
Will LeMasters16:05Cate Edgell21:12