Turkey Trot takes runners through protected trails
MATTAPOISETT — It was a brisk 38 degrees on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 20 when a group of runners gathered for the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s “Turkey Trot.”
“We’ll get rockin’ and rollin’ soon. I know everybody’s cold and wants to run,” said AJ Perry, a volunteer with the Buzzards Bay Coalition who led the Thanksgiving-themed excursion through “The Bogs,” a property managed by the Coalition.
Around 12 participants jogged in place or bundled up to keep warm before embarking on a run that would take them through five kilometers of trails on protected lands.
Perry reassured the runners that the Turkey Trot was not a race, everyone could go at their own pace. At 9 a.m. the trot began and some participants took off, setting the pace, while others opted to hang back and walk.
According to Stuart Downie, the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Vice President of Outdoor Exploration, the Turkey Trot is a special version of the coalition’s monthly trail runs.
“We’ve got a bunch of new activities that we’re engaging our members and the public with,” said Downie. “[With] a lot of them, we’re going to create them as events that run monthly and become an annual thing.”
Downie pointed to the Coalition’s recent Halloween-themed “Pumpkin Paddle” as an example.
“We’re trying to drive attendance — we want more and more people to really raise awareness,” he said.
The point of the event, Perry said, is to raise awareness of the protected lands and trails around Buzzards Bay.
“It’s a beautiful property and it's really unassuming at first glance,” said Perry. “Once you get into it and start walking around it's a great place to run, it’s a great place to bike, it’s a great place to walk.”
For Downie, who “[loves] the big, open, old cranberry bogs” that make up The Bogs reservation, the land is beautiful year-round.
“I love looking out and thinking that those all used to be cranberry bogs that have gone wild,” he said.
He added that the Buzzards Bay Coalition is planning to restore the cranberry bogs and “bring them back to a more natural state.”
In addition to showcasing the land around Buzzards Bay, the Turkey Trot was also a food drive which saw runners donate canned goods and other non-perishable items to people in need.
Perry estimated that each participant brought around “a grocery bag worth of food.”
For the participants and organizers of the Turkey Trot, the cold and wind didn’t damper the Thanksgiving spirit.
“We don’t stop running these adventures,” said Downie. “We continue to do everything year-round, not just when the weather is nice.”