Turkey Day Takeoff

Virtual 5K, fun run in Canadian County raises money for roster families

Sarah Endres, holding Griffin, runs in the Piedmont Turkey Trot as Chad Endres and Cliff Layton follow. (Photo by Robert Medley)

From Staff Reports

The runners gathered in either small groups, with a partner or on their own with no specific course for the virtual Piedmont Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day this year.

There were 215 people who signed up to run this year despite the pandemic, more than the number of people who ran last year, organizers said.

The second annual Piedmont Turkey Trot raised money for area foster families.

Due to the recent state surge in COVID-19 cases, the Piedmont 5K race and one-mile fun run was at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day virtually, said organizer and Piedmont resident, Dr. Cliff Layton. There was not a large group running close together this year for safety, but people could submit photos or videos of their efforts.


Two neighboring families and children gathered with organizer Cliff and Keri Layton, who wore turkey costumes, for the morning run in their Piedmont housing addition Thursday.

Sunny skies and light winds greeted them at the starting line at the edge of the Layton’s driveway.
With family dog Rosie, Keri Layton, Millie Layton, 6, Bryleigh Heim, 7, Keegan Burns, 7, Kelsey Burns and Finn Layton, 4, stretched to warm up.

The group of adults, Rosie, and children started the trot at 8:05 a.m. after posing for photographs, and they followed a course through the neighborhood, staying on sidewalks as the children finished the course about a half mile ahead of most adults, except for Keri Layton, who kept up a quickened pace to make sure all the kids made it back to where they started.

There 215 runners who signed up for this year’s virtual Turkey Trot was an increase from last year, organizer Justin Davis said. Last year, the inaugural event drew 125 runners.

People could pick their own course for the virtual 5K this year and the one mile fun run. Runners who signed up could get a T-shirt and a medal.

Bright Sky Ministry provides supplies for families with foster children statewide, Layton said. Cribs, diapers, car seats and other supplies are provided to families who have taken in foster children.

For more information visit brightskyministry.com.