ROCHELLE — More than 200 people came out to get a little family fun and exercise on a chilly Thanksgiving morning in Rochelle, while also helping raise money for the Rochelle Area Community Foundation’s Health and Wellness fund.
“It looks like another pretty good turnout,” said Lauren Hintzsche, organizer of the annual Turkey Trot event. “We had around 150 people sign up in advance, but there were many more who just dropped in to participate too. Usually we get 200-250, and this year’s numbers seem about the same.”
In its seventh year, the 5K Turkey Trot focuses on staying active and gives area families an activity before their big meals.
Although some participants do come out to run the 5K and time themselves, many just take a leisurely pace, while others walk the entire route.
“We don’t want to make this complicated or turn it into a competition,” Hintzsche said on Thursday. “It’s not timed and there are no prizes. Participants who wish to have a T-shirt may purchase one, but otherwise we want to just keep this a fun family activity to kick off the holiday and also raise funds for the community foundation.”
“We wanted to come out here and give it a try this year,” said Sarah Ramos, who was home from college on break and participated with Alex Elam. “It’s a little windy and cool, but at least the sun is out and we are having fun.”
Some families enjoy donning Thanksgiving themed costumes and get into the spirit of the holiday.
“It seems to be popular so we will keep doing it, Hintzsche added. “We like to get people up and being active early and then get them on their way home to enjoy their holiday.”