Runner Says She Came In Cold Turkey But Her Family Ran Tulsa Turkey Trot Together

Friday, November 27th 2020, 5:08 pm
By: Ashlyn Brothers

TULSA, Okla. -

Some families woke up early Friday morning to burn off some of the Thanksgiving food in the annual Tulsa Turkey Trot.

Runners said the race is a great way to spread the spirit of the season. One participant, however, said she wasn’t quite prepared for the big run but said whether you walk or run you’re still crossing that finish line.  

For Rachel Gurley, it's a family affair. 

"Aunt Charlotte signed us up and said hey let's do this as a family,” Gurley said. 

Gurley is home for holidays and this year she and her extended family decided to take part in the 2020 Turkey Trot.

"I'm literally going in cold turkey,” Gurley said.  

Waking up early the day after Thanksgiving to go for a run in 40-degree weather isn't something she ever thought she'd do, but 2020 is a year like none before. Luckily, she wasn’t alone. 

"We've got someone who thinks they're going to make it in under 20,” said Gurley. “We've got someone who's probably going to walk and be in the stragglers.” 

Renee Barnes and her fellow runner Olivia Ummerteskee said there's nothing like a little friendly competition.  

"I made her run the Turkey Trot last year on Thanksgiving Day and this is kind of payback,” Barnes said. 

"Personally, my goal is just to finish on my feet,” said Ummerteskee. “Not Army crawl. On my feet." 

Karen Walker is a part of Fleet Feet's training program and said Friday's race is worth the hard work.  

"If you think you can't do a 5K you can. This program with Fleet Feet is amazing,” said Walker. “You don't have to run. You can walk. Nobody is left behind." 

Race Director Tim Dreiling told News On 6 they were just under their 800-runner cap which is half the normal turnout. Dreiling said he's just grateful they were able to have it at all.  

"The race business is basically an entertainment business and we've pretty much been shut down for most of the year, so this is really good to be able to get out,” said Dreiling, Co-Owner of Fleet Feet. “We're trying to do it in the safest way that we possibly can, and I think that we're doing that, but I think that it's really good to have an event." 

This year start times were spaced out and runners were required to wear masks. Dreiling said they normally do a mass start for their main race, which is their 5K, but this year they adopted the wave system.

"Breaking the start into five smaller starts with a maximum of 150 people in each wave," Dreiling said. 

He said it’s nice to get some exercise after a big meal and especially during a pandemic.  

"It is kind of a kickoff for winter training, too. We're doing a little six-week challenge called Winter Warrior which is like a mileage challenge to try and keep people active over the holidays,” said Dreiling. “It's a tough time and there's a lot of distractions and there's plenty of things to eat and drink." 

Gurley said she's thankful for the memories she's made with her family. 

"You know there are always things to look forward to, and family is one of those things, so just be around people you love and run your race together,” Gurley said.