Charlie Berens and the Great Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot

Local News

Before putting on some potentially major calories, many people started Thanksgiving Day with a trot.
An 11th Annual Festival Foods Turkey Trot.

“The turkey trot is where you come out here on Thanksgiving Day and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, it’s cold.’ But you know what? It’s cold for a reason folks,” said Charlie Berens of the Manitowoc Minute. “It’s because it’s November. Back to the Turkey Trot–this is where we run around how long? Do you know? They told me it was just like half a block.”

With a five-mile race, two-mile fun run, and a ‘dog jog,’ there was a choice for every level of fitness.
About 9,000 trotters registered in Green Bay alone.

“I probably don’t condition myself as much as everyone else, I just try to run a few miles and suffer the other couple,” said Nick Daniels, a turkey-trotter from Green Bay.

Some were a little more hardcore about it.

“This is not something I take lightly,” said Berens. “For the past maybe one to two hours, I’ve been awake. And it’s important that before you trot, you wake up. And beyond that, did I have breakfast today? No.”

Eventually, Charlie went rogue and started interviewing runners on his own.
We decided to step back and let the camera keep rolling.

Tracy Demerath; Experienced Turkey Trotter
“Are you excited? Are you ready? What’s cookin’?,” Berens asked Tracy Demerath, an experienced turkey trotter.
-This is part of a ten mile run there, friend.
What do you mean, ten mile?
-We’re going to do three, you’re going to warm up…
No, no, no, look. I can’t even do the five, I was kidding about that. I’m going to start and go into a car and…
-I’ve seen your videos. I know you can’t do anything.
OK! And folks that was our interview with Tracy. Let’s misspell her name.”

More than 30,000 people are estimated to have registered for the ten Turkey Trots throughout Wisconsin.
And Berens knew the secret to surviving the Turkey Trot, all along.

“When it comes to keeping warm in the Turkey Trot, the best advice? Keep’er movin’,” he said.

Festival Foods has raised more than two-million dollars for charities throughout Wisconsin with the Turkey Trot.

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