Abilene’s 18th Annual Turkey Trot sees changes in 2021


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The 18th Annual Abilene Turkey Trot looked a little different than most years.

“We’ve had to change how we do the race a little bit,” President of Abilene Runner’s Club Joe Cook said. “It’s not quite as extravagant as it normally is.”

There was still loud music, plenty of footsteps and barking dogs waiting to go on their morning run, but fewer people and no inflatable red starting line.

“The numbers have gone down a little bit with COVID,” Cook said. “Generally, we have 1,200-1,500 people, but this year we’re a little over 700.”

Many of those 700 were out bright and early, the sun had not risen and the West Texas winds would knock you off your feet.

“The fact people show up no matter what the weather is, is amazing.” Cook said.

There was also a virtual 5k for those who couldn’t be there to run, wherever they might be.

“They could run it at home, they could run it when the weather was a little warmer, they could run it out of state,” Cook said. “We just want that money to go to West Texas Rehab.”

Director of Pediatrics at West Texas Rehab JoBeth Willis said the Turkey Trot has raised more than $30,000 in the last three years.

“All of this money helps our patients get the coverage they need so they can continue to stay healthy,” Willis said.

Willis has run in the event all 18 years, and has been helping out for the last 11. However, this year, she is supporting the cause even more by wearing her famous turkey hat with yellow running shoes.

She also said that running to support the cause lets you eat guilt free at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

But before you grab that extra slice of turkey, ham or pumpkin pie, the West Texas Rehab will still be taking donations. You can find more information here.

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