CSI Turkey Trot brings 700 people together to support recreation department

CSI Turkey Trot brings 700 people together to support recreation department

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CSI 2019 Turkey Trot

Irene Egner heads to the finish line during the CSI Turkey Trot Thursday morning, Nov. 28, 2019, in Twin Falls.

TWIN FALLS — A thin layer of powdery snow covered the parking lot of the College of Southern Idaho Expo Center, which was swarming with people ready for a Thanksgiving morning workout. Among them were turkey hats and fall-toned tutus galore, a runner in bright yellow shorts with a red chili pepper design and a bright-eyed Golden Retriever puppy lounging in a stroller.

This was CSI’s 9th annual Turkey Trot 5k, an untimed event open to people of all ages — and for many, their dogs — in support of the recreation department. This was the trot’s biggest year with at least 700 people participating. The event began as a way to bring families together for a healthy activity as well as support the challenge course at CSI and pay for student training. Entries were $25 per individual or $60 for a family of four.

“And it’s early enough that you can get a nap in then cook lunch,” Scott Rogers, director of challenge course operations, said with a laugh.

CSI 2019 Turkey Trot

Jax Campbell, 10, hangs out before running in the CSI Turkey Trot Thursday morning, Nov. 28, 2019, in Twin Falls.

Revis Turner and his family seldom miss a Turkey Trot, maybe one or two as far as he can remember. He waited in the parking lot with the other participants next to his daughter and her husband, who traveled from Boise to be home for Thanksgiving, and his 9-year-old rescue dog Pippen, a black and brown mixed breed about the size of a beagle.

Turner worked for CSI for 12 years and sees this as a way to continue to support its students.

“It’s a good way to support the rec program and spend time as a family, too,” Turner said.

As for Pippen?

“He likes to get out and run,” Turner said. “We brought him out the first year we got him and he loved it.”

There were three frozen turkeys along the route and whoever could find and carry them to the end could keep them. This year there were three pumpkin pies hiding as well.

CSI 2019 Turkey Trot

With the encouragement of others, runner David Babbel holds up the turkey he found while participating in the CSI Turkey Trot Thursday morning, Nov. 28, 2019, in Twin Falls.

A cacophony of chatter and barking dogs filled the lot as the participants converged in a group to start the fun run, and Rogers called them to attention with a megaphone. When the last echoes of runners dissipated only the sound of the Bridge Coffee truck bellowed in their wake.

Inside the Expo Center, student volunteers were busy putting away the free tote bags given to every participant and standing on tables to take down signs and pack boxes. For them, it didn’t feel like work.

“It’s just fun. I just like the happiness of the people, the cheer, kicking off the holiday season — and a healthy one, too,” Tiffany Eckles, who studies outdoor recreation, said.

Megan Taros is a Times-News reporter and Report for America corps member covering the Magic Valley’s Hispanic community and Jerome County. You can support her work by donating to Report for America at http://bit.ly/supportRFA.

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