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Tyler Turkey Trot attracts nearly 1,300 to support local nonprofit

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 3:12 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2021 at 8:52 AM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The rain cleared just in time for the 19th annual Tyler Turkey Trot Thursday morning. Nearly 13-hundred runners took to the streets of south Tyler to run the 5K course.

Runners and spectators were decked out in Thanksgiving colors and costumes to run the Turkey Trot this year. Last year’s event was virtual due to COVID-19 but runners Yesenia Lara and David Hutchinson said they’re happy to be back.

“It’s really like a runners high right now where we’re just glad we finished. Then thinking about food, thinking about what we have to do next and thankful,” Lara said.

“We got here with enough time to start and the course was great. From what I remember a few years ago I think. Not that many hills so I was thankful for just a few,” Hutchinson said.

Proceeds from this year’s run will benefit local nonprofit, For the Silent, whose mission is working to end sex trafficking and exploitation by empowering the voices of vulnerable and exploited youth.

“They’ve always been close to my heart because they do help educate girls that could be victims of human trafficking, sex trafficking. They not only educate, they also rescue girls and I know they do a lot behind the scenes that the community is not even probably aware of,” said Tyler Turkey Trot Director Michelle Peña.

The funds are crucial for them according to Executive Director Angela Krüsi.

“Because of some recent changes in our funding model, events like the Turkey Trot are vital to our organization. The generosity of our community allows us to serve vulnerable and exploited youth in East Texas for years to come,” Krüsi said. “We believe that everyone has a part to play in seeing all youth free from sexual exploitation and trafficking.”

This was runner Allison Horn’s first year running. She has family in town and decided to join in the festivities

“We came out, it’s a beautiful morning, the rain cleared out, it’s nice and cool. So my brother ran ahead, and then I was kind of midway, and then my dad took my little 9 year old girl and we’re still waiting on them to finish,” Horn said.

The race was led by cyclists from The Tyler Bicycle Club and Tyler Police were along the course to direct traffic and keep runners safe. The course took runners down Rieck Road, through Hollytree Drive, and to Rice Road.

“It’s become such a big tradition for a lot of families, they love coming out here on Thanksgiving morning,” Peña said.

You can view race results here.

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