Students trot around Detroit on Thanksgiving Day

By Allie McIntyre and Jamie Wallace

We’re Better Together| Junior Lucie Leonhard ran the Turkey Trot with her friends and cross country teammates Sophia Dragich and Emma Babcock, who she claimed make her running experiences in general much better. “What I enjoy most about running is the camaraderie of running with friends,” Leonhard said.
Photo credit: Sophia Dragich

Every year on Thanksgiving Day, the Turkey Trot takes place in downtown Detroit. The tradition has become a staple of the metro Detroit area for the past 39 years. Some of the participants have been running the Turkey Trot for years, while others have never run the race before in their lives.

For junior Lucie Leonhard, this year marks her second Turkey Trot, but she is far from an inexperienced runner. Cross country and long-distance running have been one of Leonhard’s interests since eighth grade.   

    “I’ve only run the Turkey Trot once and it was last year,” Leonhard said. “I always like trying new racing experiences and I have grown to love road races.”

Leonhard not only ran the Trot for the second time, but she also ran the Trot with some of her closest friends from the cross-country team.

“They made the experience positive and memorable,” Leonhard said. “They always know how to make a run enjoyable.”

As a first-time Trotter, junior Emma Babcock has been running cross country for three years.  Inspired by her friends, Babcock decided to challenge herself this year. 

I run like four to six miles a day or like three to six.   Just like every day I try to prepare and then I try to eat healthy because I don’t want to get a stomach ache,” Babcock said. 

Also running the Turkey Trot this year was captain of the Boys Cross Country team, senior Alex Agius.  Agius started running the Trot last year with some friends from the cross-country team, but he has decided to do it again this year. Agius ran the Turkey Trot with his close friend Jacob Nowicki.  While running the race, they both pushed and laughed with each other to finish the mile. Both of the racers decided to run the Turkey Trot simply to get more in shape.

You’ve Got a Friend In Me| Senior Alex Agius ran the Turkey Trot this year with his friend Jacob Nowicki. “We are really good friends, we laughed a lot during the race, and we just kept pushing ourselves each mile so it was really fun, and we were competitive too,” Agius said.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Alex Agius

“I wanted to get a good workout for the wrestling season,” Agius said.  “We decided we wanted to get more cardio work in and more hard work before wrestling season.”

The Turkey Trot can range from five kilometers to one mile. While some runners may not be able to make this run, Leonhard handled the race with ease.  

“I kept running after the cross country season was over,” Leonhard said.  “I stayed conditioned and had no struggles in this race.”

While running the Turkey Trot can be difficult Babcock felt that it allowed her to practice and clear her mind. 

“I did struggle a lot but I just kept thinking of my goal which was to keep running and finish with a good time,” Babcock said. “They definitely make it worth it because I’d never do it alone.”

During the race, Agius did not really struggle, due to his mentality and years of practice. Agius enjoys running regularly, outside of the traditional cross-country team. He relishes the sensations that he experiences while engaging in athletic activity.

“[I enjoy] the feeling of being lighter and just fast in general,” Agius said. 

Running the race itself is not the only part of the Turkey Trot that is fun and beneficial to the community.  While she enjoys looking at the buildings and running with her friends, according to Leonhard, the best part of the Turkey Trot is that it is a positive activity for the entire Detroit area. 

“It benefits the community because it gets the whole city of Detroit out and active,” Leonhard said.  “It brings the running community together.”