HANCOCK COUNTY — When people think about Thanksgiving, they think about family, food and football.
But more and more, they also are thinking about 5Ks — 3.1-mile races on Thanksgiving morning.
Hancock County boasted two road races this Thanksgiving, one conducted for the seventh year in Shirley and one brand-new 5K in Greenfield.
More than 150 people attended the inaugural Turkey Day 5K, a downtown Greenfield race and one-mile fun run raising money for exercise equipment to be installed on the Pennsy Trail.
The event, organized by the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department, raised about $3,000 for the cause, said parks superintendent Ellen Kuker. Kuker has wanted to put on a 5K race through the parks department since she began working there, she said, and with the help of Danielle Daugherty, Healthy 365 coordinator, and Andrea Mallory, executive director of Hancock Hope House, she has been planning the event since this spring.
The Pennsy Trail Fitness Park, located just east of Center Street on the Pennsy Trail, features three pieces of exercise equipment, including a bench press, Kuker said. She hopes to purchase a substantial fourth piece of equipment with the proceeds from the event, she said.
Holly McGuire of Greenfield said her 13- and 8-year-old children enjoyed the event, especially because all finishers received an event T-shirt and a medal.
Her extended family often attends annual Thanksgiving 5K events in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, but she was excited to have an option in Greenfield, she said.
“With it being the first year, we wanted to support the folks that put it on,” she said. “I thought it was very well-organized and well-run. It was just what we were looking for.”
Meanwhile, downtown Shirley was taken over by caped crusaders Thanksgiving morning, as the seventh annual Turkey Trot’s theme was superheroes.
Organizer Pam Carlton said the event has fallen into a rhythm, with local Boy Scouts providing a water stop and the Shirley Volunteer Fire Department blocking roads and bringing up the rear of the race.
The event, sponsored by the Shirley-Wilkinson United Methodist Church, benefits area charities including Shirley’s Community Ministerial Alliance, which provides assistance to area residents who need help with their medication, transportation, power and heat bills or other needs, Carlton said. This year’s 5K raised about $2,000 for those causes, she said. Runners were also encouraged to donate canned goods to an area food pantry.
New this year, the event featured awards for the top three finishers in the 55 and older category, as well as the best superhero costume.