Runners of all ages braved the weather Thanksgiving morning for the 20th annual Tyler Turkey Trot. Despite the downfall, participants gathered at Racquet and Jog in Tyler where the race started and finished.

Nearly 900 runners put on their rain jackets and brought their families to run, walk and wait at the finish line as they cheered on their friends and family for the annual Tyler Turkey Trot 5K.

The event began at 8:30 a.m. with the kids’ dash for ages 1 to 13, followed by the 5K at 9 a.m.

Each year the event raises funds for local charities. This year’s charity benefitted For The Silent.

The vision of For The Silent is to see all youth free from commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. Through prevention, survivor care, and community transformation programs, For The Silent works to end sex trafficking and exploitation by empowering the voices of vulnerable and exploited youth, according to organizations website.

Event Director Michelle Pena thanked the crowd for coming out despite the elements.

“Thank you guys for making it this morning,” she said. “It’s not the best weather but you made it.”

5K participants received a long-sleeve T-shirt and medal after finishing the chip-timed race. Kids’ Dash participants received a T-shirt and a medal. Participants of the Kids’ Dash were able to participate in the 5K for free.

Clay Emge, 38, crossed the finish line first with a time of 15:17.

More race results can be found here.


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Multimedia Journalist

Multimedia journalist Jessica Payne covers several counties in East Texas. In 2011, she left her hometown Houston for East Texas. In 2016, she left the 9-5 office routine to pursue a passion for sharing inspiring stories and engaging with the community.