SHREWSBURY – More than 1,900 runners turned out, Nov. 25, for the return of Shrewsbury’s Turkey Trot for the Memory road race.
This was the 10th running of the race, kicking off once again after the disruption of COVID-19 a year ago.
“It is very exciting and humbling [to be back],” event organizer and founder Jane Lizotte told the Community Advocate.
More than $40,000 raised through this year’s Turkey Trot will go to the Alzheimer’s Association.
That cause is personal for Lizotte, whose father, Francis P. O’Conner passed away due to Alzheimer’s in 2007.
The same cause hits close to home for singer/songwriter and music therapist Cara Brindisi, who performed a pair of songs before the opening horn on Nov. 25.
Brindizi grew up in Shrewsbury and comforted her grandfather by playing music for him in the final years of his life before he passed away due to Alzheimer’s.
“Have a great Turkey Trot,” Brindisi told the crowd as she capped her performance this Thanksgiving.
Lizotte grew up with a familiar tradition of physical activity on Thanksgiving morning, as her father would encourage family members to get out and get fresh air before afternoon and evening gatherings.
What became the Turkey Trot began as a small tradition among friends seeking that kind of Thanksgiving physical activity.
In time, that group grew and began major fundraising efforts.
More than a decade later, Lizotte said, she’s grateful to the community of runners, fellow organizers and neighbors who have turned out over the years.
“It’s incredibly inspiring,” she said.