Tough Turkeys Brave The Cold To Conquer 2018 Chatham Turkey Trot

By: Kat Szmit

Topics: Benefits , Running , Sports

A pair of bundled-up lobsters makes its way along Stage Harbor Road after the official start of the 2018 Turkey Trot, held Thanksgiving morning in Chatham. Kat Szmit Photo

CHATHAM – Cold? What Cold?

Frigid temperatures were no match for the hundreds of determined runners and walkers in the 2018 Chatham Turkey Trot, which saw a terrific turnout in spite of wintry weather.

Runners began lining up for the traditional and informal Thanksgiving Day race just before its 8 a.m. start, creating a sea of smiling faces from the intersection of Pond Street all the way through the downtown rotary.

When race coordinators Mary Parsons and Linda Redding counted down to the official start, runners began the trek that would loop them back to the finish line near Main Street. While most were clad in warm winter attire, including long coats and knit caps, there was a smattering of creative costumes among the fleece and down.

A septet of runners represented Shark Week, donning shark hats and shirts emblazoned with the days of the week, while another pair wore their best lobster outfits, complete with big red claws (not the Santa kind). Naturally there were all manner of turkey hats and a few turkey costumes, with one clever runner creating a Thanksgiving table, himself as the turkey on a platter in the middle.

Gus Robinson was the first across the finish line, with Andrew Motler and Dylan Williams rounding out the top three men, while Lilly Radley was the first woman to finish, followed by Faith Richardson, and Nikki Schachman and Alex Morris tying for third after crossing the finish line together.

Although the race is a lot of fun, the best part of the event wasn't necessarily the icy run; rather it was the food collected and funds raised for the Lower Cape Outreach Council (LCOC), which provides financial assistance, food and nutrition, mentoring and clothing to Lower Cape families in need.

The Turkey Trot was started in 2005 by Parsons and Redding, who were inspired by a similar race in Sandwich. LCOC has been the sole beneficiary from the beginning. In 2017 the race saw nearly 2,700 participants, raising more than $40,000 for the LCOC, with enough food donated to almost fill a 26-foot delivery truck. While the totals from this year's event are still being tallied, Redding said 2,350 runners paid entry fees for the race, with funds totaling roughly $40,000 and enough food to fill the truck.