I found the best little Thanksgiving 5K in Tennessee—and it is right here in Sevierville. Although I wasn’t feeling that great Thanksgiving morning, I made my way to SCHS to see the race for myself, and maybe just to run a 1 K.. It held a lot of fun surprises. Here is what happened…
There were a lot of cars in the vocational school area. Racers, volunteers, and well wishers were heading to the stadium.
These racers were ready to go.
Registration, T-shirts, food, merchandise, and rest rooms under the stadium roof.
Check in was quick and easy. Nancy Trundle Hewitt, Executive Director of the SCHS Foundation, wished us well. She is the force behind this group and we appreciated all her leadership, especially on Thanksgiving morning.
Kristi Sims Atchley and her daughters were ready to run. At least one of them has run in a St. Jude’s race in Nashville. Young veteran racers here.
Leia Loveday is a veteran runner and was ready move!
Kariss Waite and her husband support the SCHS Foundation and raced really well. A SCHS alum, Kariss hasn’t raced in about a year, but wanted to support the science classes.
The Smoky Bear mascot and a turkey encouraged the racers minutes before the race.
Always take a camera to this race. So fun!
Finish line ready to go.
Front line racers warming up and ready to go.
When the starting gun rang out, I was actually tying my shoe! I couldn’t believe it. However, all went well and I didn’t lose any seconds. Many thanks to the SCHS Junior who videoed the start so I could be in line with the racers and not lose any time. Thanks!
Official time keeper for the race. He was busy taking pictures, video, stats, etc. The course included one lap on the track, run up the road by the visitor’s gate, up to the back parking lot, run across the back row toward the vocational school, take a right on the main entrance, return to the stadium and down to the track. Repeat 2 more times. It was mostly flat, except for the slight incline up to the visitors gate. However it was great because you were always on campus and near help, bathrooms, shelter, etc.
Dean of LMU Law School, Gary Wade, and Coppley Vickers support the Sevier County High School Foundation to raise money for Dr. Suzanne South’s Science lab. Proceeds also support a STEM scholarship.
Waiting for racers to finish and to hear the awards presentation.
Having fun waiting for the awards results.
This family came from two separate states to spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Sevier County. They like to run 5 Ks and Googled to find this race. They rented a cabin for the holiday, but started Thanksgiving with this 5 K.
This is a Sevier County family out for an early run. The mother works at Pigeon Forge Primary School.
SCHS volunteers got to the stadium at 6:00 a.m. to prepare for the Smoky Bear Turkey Trot. Thank you!
It was fun to read the posters meant to motivate runners.
That must have been a workout pushing up the hill to the visitor’s gate.
Gary Wade finishes strong. The Smoky Bear mascot congratulates with a high five.
The crowd waiting for awards presentations.
I am dividing this blog story into two parts because there was an adventure sports celebrity in attendance for the event. In an hour, I will publish the second part of this article. We will see some awards and I’ll introduce you to the adventure sports celebrity. I got the scoop!