Home Turkey Trotters will line up at Waynesboro YMCA in spite of pandemic

Turkey Trotters will line up at Waynesboro YMCA in spite of pandemic

Rebecca Barnabi

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

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WAYNESBORO — The Waynesboro YMCA’s Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 2020 is an opportunity this year for participants to have a sense of normalcy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, however, some changes will be in place.

Trotters must wear a mask until they start the course, and spectators are not permitted this year.

The governor’s new restrictions put in place Monday in response to increased positive cases of COVID-19 in Virginia mean that not more than 250 can participate in this year’s event.

According to Jeff Fife, executive director of the Waynesboro YMCA, 180 participants are registered.

Early bird registration is over, but trotters can still register on the YMCA’s web site by clicking on the turkey icon before midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The fee is $27.50 per trotter, and includes a fleece winter cap and a mask with a beak.

Fife said that 20 virtual participants are registered.

“Which means they can run anywhere, anytime over the Thanksgiving Day holiday,” said Fife.

An annual event on Thanksgiving Day for 23 years, the Turkey Trot begins at 9 a.m., and this year’s participants will be sent out in waves of 25 to spread them out and encourage social distancing as much as possible over the 3.1-mile course.

“I’m thrilled that we can offer it,” Fife said.

The Turkey Trot’s traditional award ceremony recognizing top male, top female, best dressed and several other fun categories will not be held this year.

Fife said that winners will be announced later on social media, and ribbons and medals will not be given out to top performers.

“We’re just really having people compete to have fun,” Fife said of the goal for this year’s event.

Although glad the annual event can still be held, Fife said that last year participants came from 30 states, and that will not be the case this year.

“I don’t really know what to expect this year,” Fife said.

This year’s Turkey Trot is sponsored by Blue Ridge Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Charlie O’Baugh Auto Group.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.