If you were in Leesylvania State Park on the morning of Saturday, November 21, you might have seen a sight that is increasingly rare these days: children having fun while being active outside. And it wasn’t only the children enjoying the moment. All the adults who were present had a fantastic time running back and forth cheering on the kids.
In an effort to support healthy, physically active life styles, Leesylvania Elementary School partnered with Leesylvania State Park to sponsor what will hopefully become a yearly tradition: the First Annual Leesylvania Turkey Trot. The event was open to all students of Leesylvania Elementary, as well as their younger brothers and sisters.
Different age groups ran different distances in varying loop courses around the park’s picnic ground: 5th and 4th graders ran a mile, 3rd and 2nd graders ran a ½ mile, 1st graders and kindergarteners ran a ¼ mile, and children younger than kindergarten ran the Itty Bitty Kiddy Dash. The only “entry fee”, per se, for the participants was a boxed or canned good to be donated to ACTS, a local organization helping families in need.
All 54 participants received an official Turkey Trot certificate, a Virginia State Parks goody bag, snacks, and water. In addition to the goody bags, Leesylvania State Park also provided trophies to every 1st and 2nd placed boy and girl on each grade level. And what’s a Turkey Trot without giving away turkeys? Through the gift of an anonymous donor, every first placed boy and girl in 2nd through 5th grade also received a 12 pound frozen turkey, with thawing instructions and a roaster bag thrown in to boot.
Based on the exhilarated and happy looks on everyone’s faces and the many positive comments at the end of the morning, the event was a huge success. Hopefully next year even more children from Leesylvania Elementary will be able to attend with their families.