Turkey Trotters thankful for Clearwater event's in-person return

Runners and walkers trotted up to the start line in Clearwater Thursday morning for the 2021 Turkey Trot.

In it’s 42nd year, the annual race welcomed back participants to an in-person event after the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to go virtual in 2020.

"It just feels more like Thanksgiving when you get to come here and just walk around with your family," said 13-year-old trotter Makayla Stark, who has done the Turkey Trot every year with her family for as long as she can remember.

As many families return to their Thanksgiving tradition, some did their best to keep it up in 2020.

"We did our own walk," said Whitney Harper, trotting with her mom Nancy. "We actually did a 3.1-mile walk!"

The Harper family kept up traditions as best they could, but mother and daughter were excited to be back for the real deal.

"We love doing this," Whitney explained. "It’s just one of those things that we get up every Thanksgiving morning and come and do it."

Proceeds from this year’s race support many local charities.  A large amount also goes to college scholarships for seniors from Pinellas County high schools.