The Town of Palm Beach United Way’s Turkey Trot is the island’s unofficial season opener. Since its inception in 2009, the Thanksgiving Day chip-timed race has sold out every year and, better yet, has provided meals to children and families who would otherwise not enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. Last year, the Turkey Trot provided funding to 19 local organizations, which translated to nearly 5,000 meals—and smiles of gratitude.
The brainchild of Palm Beacher Cara McClure, who serves on the Town of Palm Beach United Way’s board of trustees, the race is a community-building event for all ages. “I’m not much of a gala girl, so we tried to think outside the box,” she says. “I loved the idea of it being the one social event of the season where you could toss the stilettos and get a great sunrise workout.”
After 15 years hosting it with her husband—growing it from a 50-person run to a sanctioned race with more than 1,200 registrants—McClure has passed the baton to her younger sisters, Francesca Finck and Gabrielle Fricker, and their husbands.
“We spent many days running our own relay races and picnicking under the poinciana tree,” Fricker says. “When Cara began this journey, no one expected it would become a tradition, not only for our family but for so many local families.”
The Turkey Trot begins at Bradley Park, across from the White Elephant hotel, on Thanksgiving morning (November 23), with the Kids Drumstick Dash at 7 a.m. and the 5k race at 7:30 a.m. Though the race is sold out again this year, donations are still being accepted and spectators are encouraged.