Thanksgiving tradition: Turkey Trot returns in person

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Bright and early Thursday giving morning, Grace Kaminski, her fiancé Ethan Carigon and sister Sophie Kaminksi were among thousands of people in downtown Grand Rapids ready to take a run.

“We always have been big time runners, so it’s just a good family thing for us. We really enjoy it,” Kaminksi said.

They were set to take part in the annual Grand Rapids Public Schools Turkey Trot.

It’s the 29th year for the event, sponsored by Blue Care Network, which helps offset the cost of student athletes participating in GRPS sports programs.

“We have approximately 6,000 students who participate in after-school athletics from kindergarten through 12th grade,” Kurt Johnson, executive director of athletics for GRPS, said. “We think that should be a right and a natural part of their educational process.”

Thursday marked the race’s return downtown. It was virtual last year because of the pandemic.

“We still had support. We had over 1,600 runners that supported us virtually,” Johnson said.

For some, the trot is a Thanksgiving tradition. For others, it’s trading an often losing tradition for a good cause.

“We usually go watch the Lions play, but they haven’t been very good,” Kaminski said. “So were going to do the Turkey Trot this year.”

Officials said 4,259 runners and walker registered for this year’s Turkey Trot.

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