Thanksgiving: Turkey Trot 2011

Thanksgiving%3A+Turkey+Trot+2011

Elvin Wong

On your marks… get set… go!This Thanksgiving, thousands of men, women, and children ran in the seventh annual Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, which is a series of races designed to raise money for charity. This year, over 20,000 participants arrived at San Jose’s HP Pavilion and some competed in numerous races, including 10k, 5k and wheelchair. Others were there to cheer and support racers, compete in costume contests or donate canned food to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Funds raised by race sponsors will be donated to The Housing Trust and the Children’s Health Initiate of Santa Clara County.

While Interact has previously participated and sent volunteers to the Turkey Trot, it was unable to volunteer this year due to a surplus of overall applicants.

“The Interact officer in charge of this, our events coordinator [Sowmya Mullapudi], was not able to email in the applications soon enough, so Interact was not [able to participate] this year,” Interact Treasurer junior Matthew Lem said.

Yet despite the absence of one of MVHS’s largest volunteer clubs, the school’s presence could still be felt at the Turkey Trot. Many students came with their families to run in the races and others signed up online to independently volunteer at the Turkey Trot through its website.

“Since our cousins got us into this, I decided to, since we’re not doing anything else on Thanksgiving, come here. I think it’ll be a very good experience. On top of that, you’ll be able to interact with other people,” junior Ashley Namkung, who ran in the 5k race with her family, said.

Some student volunteers had originally who had intended to work with Interact ultimately decided to attend the event despite the club’s inability to attend.

“Usually I sign up outside [of Interact] so it creates room for Interactors to sign up through Interact … I just like the excitement of it: to see all the people here, happy to run, and happy to celebrate Thanksgiving,” Lem said. “Also, I’ve been [a volunteer at the Turkey Trot] for two or three years already, so I thought maybe I’d just [continue the tradition.”

In addition to the independent runners and volunteers, 15 members of MVHS’s Cross Country Team and coaches Kirk Flatow and Matt Paquet arrived to participate in the Turkey Trot.

“There are a lot of [Cross Country members] here: two of them actually won the races last year, so they’re back to defend their titles,” [[Cross Country member]] junior Ajay Rajamani said.  “Every year we get a couple of us that come to the Turkey Trot.”

Interact or no Interact, MVHS students, parents and coaches continued the tradition of participation at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, lending their volunteer hours and physical effort to help out a good cause.

“[The Turkey Trot] is a great event for people to come over,”  said junior Kevin Lim, a volunteer from MVHS. “It’s that time of the year when many people might expect to stay at home, but it’s always great to reach out and help the community.”