FLORENCE, Ala. — Turkey trots are a Thanksgiving Day tradition in cities across the country.
There was no race scheduled to happen in Florence Thanksgiving morning, but one was quickly planned just three weeks ago, and turnout was surprisingly high.
The race was themed Trax4MAX in honor of Max Barnett, who was an avid runner and well-known member of the community; he passed away in October from glioblastoma.
Proceeds from the race will go to the YMCA of the Shoals where Barnett served on the board for 17 years.
Race organizers said they were motivated to plan the race because there wasn’t going be one in Florence and they wanted to honor Barnett’s memory.
“We’ve been really pleased having about 240 people pre-register and several more showing up on race morning,” Co-organizer Andy Mann said.
Barnett’s wife Whitney said she’s been overwhelmed by the community support. “I’m overwhelmed and humbled by everybody just coming together and making it happen in three weeks’ time,” she said. “It was such a quick turnaround and it just speaks volumes for what he stood for and what he supported, and people are supporting him back is what I think.”
That support is already making a difference. “It just goes to Max’s reputation and a testament to that reputation, just that we were able to put this together in a short period of time of three weeks and raise over, right now, the last count was over $50,000, just in his memory for the YMCA.
It’s creating a legacy that will continue that spirit of thanksgiving far beyond the holiday.
Organizers said Trax4MAX will now be an annual race.