I often get asked the same question over and over again regarding the Gilbert Turkey Trot – it’s the question as to whether the Turkey Trot is easier to manage year after year because we know what we’re doing. Although there’s some truth to that – there’s also new challenges year after year as we grow and it often feels like we’re figuring it out every year.

What started as a small neighborhood run has grown to 5,500 runners plus spectators (a record for us) and every year we’re surprised at the growth. None of us have any experience in running large events like this or even more particular a race, but we’ve figured it out and we do it for charity.

These three ran the 5K and they all crushed it.

These ones ran the Fun Run.

And here’s some behind the scenes:

We buy doughnuts by the pallet. Hunter was in charge of unloading all these doughnuts. I don’t even want to count how many doughnuts our family consumed between the packet pickup, race day and the day after.

The local shirt printer we work with is awesome and he is so good to us – printing all the runner, volunteer, trot team, glasses and brainfood shirts. And he willingly adds to our order two days before the race when our registration is higher than we anticipated.

Hallie, Hunter and Bennett volunteer at the packet pickup with me the night before the race. They are paid in pizza and swag and that is enough for them. The older they get, the more helpful they are and they know how to work. I think Cannon and Briggs are now old enough and next year we will be able to volunteer as a family.

This is my friend Ruth and she started Az Brainfood which is one of the two charities we raise money for. She is an integral part in our packet pickup and onsite registration and more importantly we are a team outside of the Turkey Trot. If I’m working on a project, Ruth is by my side and vice versa. Grateful for friends like her.

This team is why the turkey trot functions as it does. They have vision and are willing to serve and they’re pretty fun to work with.

Grateful for another successful year!