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Turkeys will still trot: 50th FSS’s 19th annual race still on

Turkey Trot

Participants in the 17th annual Turkey Trot race take off on the trail Nov. 16, 2018, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. This year’s 2.5-mile race will have masks and physical distancing guidelines to adhere to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (U.S. Space Force photo by Kathryn Damon)


The 50th Force Support Squadron’s 19th annual Turkey Trot race here is scheduled for Nov. 20 at 3 p.m.

The 2.5-mile race won’t be shuttered due to the pandemic, though it will have guidelines in place for runners’ safety, said Seth Cannello, 50th Force Support Squadron fitness and sports manager.

“I will encourage people to spread out before the race and wear their masks,” Cannello said. “If people don’t think they’ll finish in the top three, there’s really no point in gathering together at the starting line. People can stagger themselves if they don’t feel comfortable being next to someone to ensure proper [physical] distancing.”  

The race follows the “wing run” route, which starts north of the batting cages and takes Airmen west on the running trail, then north along the perimeter fence line. 

The route then wraps along the housing area and back to the start. Cannello said the course will have easy-to-follow markers for participants to avoid confusion during the race.

While the fitness center staff expects to have many participants, the amount varies due to multiple factors.

“When it’s warm, we typically have more people, so I’m hoping the great weather we’ve been having holds,” Cannello said. “Now that we are once again at 50 percent manning, I’m not sure what to expect. In a good year, we have between 100 and 150 people.  When the weather is poor, the number of participants drops to less than 50.”

For some, weather won’t factor into the run. James Driscoll, 50th FSS Education Center flight chief, said he’ll be sure to follow COVID-19 instructions for the race, but is excited for the event regardless of conditions.

“As a runner I rarely know ‘bad weather,’” Driscoll said. “I run the Pikes Peak Rescue run every year on New Year’s Day. It is affectionately called, ‘Rain, Snow or 20 Below Run!’ We have run in [negative] 30 wind chill, blizzards, etcetera.”

While the Turkey Trot serves as a method of exercise for Airmen, Driscoll said he loves the group energy that other runners of all levels bring to the event.

“I am an avid runner, I participate in over 35 events per year, both on-base and downtown,” Driscoll said. “Having the opportunity to participate with other members of the running community and Team Schriever is a needed psychological and emotional boost.”

Cannello said it’s important to ensure the 50th FSS fitness staff can offer such an event, especially with the holidays around the corner.

“We are offering a fun fitness challenge that will bring the SAFB community together in a non-work/non-stressful environment,” Cannello said. “Being rewarded with a T-shirt at the end of an event is always an added bonus. The challenge should give Airmen an idea of where their fitness levels are standing. [Physical training] testing is scheduled to resume in January, which is right around the corner.”

For more information regarding the Turkey Trot, contact the Fitness Center at 567-6658, or email

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