Turkey Trot comes back to Jasper

Posted 11/16/18

The Walker County Turkey Trot 5K is coming back to downtown Jasper for Thanksgiving Day. Organizer April Madison said the annual event, which was in Oakman last year, will start and end in …

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Turkey Trot comes back to Jasper


The Walker County Turkey Trot 5K is coming back to downtown Jasper for Thanksgiving Day. 

Organizer April Madison said the annual event, which was in Oakman last year, will start and end in Gamble Park this year, with runner set to take off from the starting line at 9 a.m. Registration will start at 8 a.m.

"The Family Fun Run, which is typically a one-mile race that involves two laps around Gamble Park, will start about 9:30 or 9:45 a.m.," she said, noting it many times involves children waiting on their parents to finish the 5K.

Anyone can participate in the event, she said, including anyone who just wants to walk and even push a baby in a stroller.

"When I started races, I was pushing my baby," Madison said. "I had a very good stroller, and I kept her very warm." 

Madison said the run has been in Jasper in the past.

"Last year we did bring it to Oakman to test it out, to see if a change of scenery would be good," Madison said. "It's original home was in Jasper. I just feel that Jasper is the better home for it."

One thing that won't change is the mission of the run, which is to benefit the Walker County Coalition for the Homeless (homelesswalkeral.com) for their general service needs.

The eight-year-old coalition is an established 501(C)(3) nonprofit group that assists Walker County individuals and families who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless, according to its website. Their goal is to assist the homeless in getting resources to rapidly and permanently house people experiencing homelessness. It provides a temporary emergency shelter for those with no other alternatives, as well as referrals, resources and, mentoring.

T-shirts are guaranteed to the first 100 runners who register for the race, with a limited availability after that. The cost for early registration for the 5K will be $20, while the cost the day of the race is $25. "For the Family Fun Run, it is $10 per person, or $30 for a family of however many people," she said. 

Pets are welcome to participate but must be on a leash and have been vaccinated, Madison said. 

The path will essentially be the old Parkinson's 5K Course, which is familiar to many runners in Jasper, Madison said. It will run south of Gamble Park, head west on 17th Street W, south on Sixth Avenue, east on 19th Street, north on Birmingham Avenue for a block and then east on 18th Street before heading north to get to Indiana Avenue, west on 14th Street, and then up again to Gamble Park. with a full lap around the park.

A water station will be along the course, as well as a water station at the end, she said. Coca-Cola, which is providing the water coolers and cups, are sponsoring those stops. 

"We will have the arrows painted on the road," thanks to the city of Jasper, she said.

People who would like to volunteer may show up the morning of the event, Madison said.  

To pre-register, one can all Sarah O'Mary at 205-300-5499, Lona Courington at 205-522-9280, or Monique Lawrence at 205-912-313-3970. 

One may also donate directly to the coalition through PayPal on its website.