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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > chasing turkeys--32nd running of slattery’s turkey trot

Chasing Turkeys--32nd Running of Slattery’s Turkey Trot
Yes, turkeys are the awards for this wonderful holiday five miler. Thirty-two years of tradition, $170,000 in contributions to local athlete-scholars and one heck of a great time for you and your family the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It begins and ends at the famous Slattery's Restaurant in Fitchburg, MA.

Chasing Turkeys--32nd Running of Slattery’s Turkey Trot

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By Chris Russell
Posted Sunday, 11 November, 2012

The Slattery’s Turkey Trot is a wonderfully warm, inclusive festival for families getting together over the holidays. Running on Sunday, November 18, 2012, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, this regional tradition has, over the years, contributed over $150,000 in scholarships to more than 200 area track and field seniors. Generations of families return each year to Slattery’s in Fitchburg for this Central Massachusetts tradition.

What started as a pub race in 1981 with 130 runners on the classic 5-mile course has grown into a multi-event festival with nearly 1,500 participants. There is something for everyone and every member of the family this year at the Slattery’s Turkey Trot Sunday November 18th.

Yes, there are generous cash prizes, but elites aren’t the only ones who walk away happy. Age group winners get Turkeys. In fact, turkeys are awarded to the top 3 men/women who are non-money winners in each age group, making for a really fun post race celebration.

It’s a great family day!
Slattery’s Turkey Trot and restaurant makes a wonderful venue to gather your family at the holidays and share in the fun. Even if they are not running there is something for everyone in the family to do. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa and all the kids. Slattery’s Turkey Trot has two and three generations of families coming back every year as part of a holiday tradition. Do you have relatives coming home for the holidays? This year make it part of your family’s tradition.

It all started 32 years ago when local running coach Mark Ambrose and Slattery’s owner Dave Celuzza collaborated to put on a 5-mile road race. Thirty-two years later they are still going strong. The race has grown and become a landmark tradition for the Fitchburg area and the wider eastern Massachusetts-Southern New Hampshire region. It is an event that is full of tradition, full of love, and gives back to the local community in large doses.

Major supporter of local scholarships for track and field athletes.
Over the years the Slattery’s Turkey Trot has given over $170,000 in scholarships to six local high schools to help kids from track and field. It is not often that you will find an event that has contributed so much back to the local community--and continues to do so. Over 225 high school seniors have benefited from the community spirit and outstanding success of the Turkey Trot over the years. The money is used to positively impact local students and families.

Each year a male and female track and field student from 5 or more local high schools gets up to $1,000 each for college. This is a level of support that has grown over time and really stands out for generosity and giving back to the sport. These are student-athletes who are moving on from high school to do something positive with their lives. Many are now grown and coming back to run and help others. What tradition! The Turkey Trot Scholarship Fund sends the right message of support and is a positive initiative that you can be part of by coming to participate this year in the 32nd annual Slattery’s Turkey Trot.

It’s a local event with a wide following, and tradition—with amenities!
The Turkey Trot has so much going for it. It is a great family event for runners, walkers and kids alike. With the long-term committed base of management, volunteers and sponsors Slattery’s Turkey Trot is able to continue to put on a flawless event that satisfies all comers. They’ve got the traditional 5-Mile road race, a set of kids’ races and a separately timed 5-Mile walk. With spectators and family members close to 4,000 people show up at Slattery’s for the day.

There are heated tents for the participants and all the amenities you’d expect from a race event of this maturity level. There is a moon walk for the kiddies, soft drinks, free hot dogs and popcorn for them as well. The race provides great hospitality for all runners with soup, sandwiches and beer!

Over 34,000 people have participated over the years – this year you can too. Participants at this year’s Turkey Trot will feel the tradition of love and warmth and community that this race organization brings to its event.

The bottom line is that there is a warm and welcoming attitude and atmosphere. You won’t be in a hurry to get back to your car to go home – you’ll want to hang around and soak up the good vibes with your family and friends. Once you come you won’t want to leave the friendly reception and warmth.

Slattery’s Turkey Trot has become an area staple, drawing people from Boston, Nashua, Worcester and all over the region. Come and join the fun. Start your own tradition.

The Racers
Over the years the Slattery’s course has seen the likes of Bill Rodgers, Greg Meyers, Patty Catalano, Randy Thomas and Geoff Smith. Elite runners still come every year to vie for cash prizes. These days the local elites typically vie with regional pros, drawn by what is an excellent prize structure for a local race.

This year's cash prizes will be awarded to the following overall finishers:
1st Place Men and Women $800
2nd Place Men and Women $400
3rd Place Men and Women $200
Masters Winner Men and Women $200.00

The Events
There are two kids’ races. The first one for ages 5 and under is a short dash to the starting line that lets the little ones stretch out their legs. The second is just under a half mile for kids 6-10. All the kids get race bibs, a nice brass medal and ribbon. It’s really fun with people lining the road to cheer them on. It is cute, yes, but also a lesson in the joy of running. Perhaps some of them will benefit from track scholarships down the road.
The walkers take over the 5-Mile race course at 11:00 a.m. and have a separately timed event.

Then the traditional 5-Mile road race kicks off at 1:00 p.m. to round out the day.
The 5-Mile course is a great course and has some small hills at the beginning and end, but is mostly flat in the middle, producing some fast times over the years. It is a loop course that tours Fitchburg passing some of the local landmarks.

The event has strong and ongoing support from sponsors, many of whom have been involved from the beginning. This enables the Slattery’s Turkey Trot to provide excellent prizes and amenities and still fund the scholarships. All while keeping race fees low. All participants get the traditional T-shirt. With the event’s long tradition these classic T-shirts can be seen all over the region.

Come check out Slattery’s Turkey Trot
Enjoy the day for yourself and your family and provide help to local athletes that are going on to college. Slattery’s Turkey Trot has been hugely successful because of the attention to detail that makes the race welcoming to everyone. Mark Ambrose, who has been the race director since day one, puts it this way, “It’s like a festival, a party atmosphere. We have people come with their families and friends and for years they’ve been doing it. A large percentage of our runners are repeats. We get runners from at least 80 different communities from around New England. We have a ton of volunteers. The race goes off with precision. People always have praise for the prizes, food…they are always very complimentary of everything.”

In talking to the race directors you can tell that they love the event and are very proud of it.
Why don’t you come to Fitchburg on Sunday, November 18 for the 32nd annual Slattery’s Turkey Trot and see for yourself what the buzz is all about.



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