Inaugural "Florida Turkey Trot" Hits Sweet Spot

Like a carved turkey and gravy, Nathan Benderson Park appears to pair perfectly with Thanksgiving Day.

Those looking for a new family tradition before the feast flocked to NBP by the thousands for the inaugural Fit2Run Florida Turkey Trot. Participants were met by a crisp fall air, crystal clear skies and an endless shimmer of sunlight across the centerpiece of the 5K fun run, the park’s 400-acre lake.

Racers took off at 8:00 a.m. around NBP’s six-story finish tower and across three bridges to the tree-lined trail along the water. For the home stretch, participants experienced one of the most unique, stunning scenic trails, even for the most seasoned runners. A floating dock connecting shoreline to finish line invited people to jog and walk across the same 2,000-meter stretch of water normally navigated by elite-level rowers.

Those needing an extra incentive to reach the finish line could smell the cornucopia of fall sweets awaiting their return. Pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, beer and mimosas were served to those who braved exhaustion and alarm clocks to start Thanksgiving early.

To spread the season of giving, participants were encouraged to bring food donations for local nonprofit All Faiths Food Bank. Fit2Run also donated proceeds from the race to not-for-profit Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, Inc. (SANCA) which manages the park.

Nathan Benderson Park is a world-class training facility with dozens of ways to explore and awake your sense of adventure, like pontoon paddle boat rentals, single scull rowing lessons, and other organized events like the Turkey Trot. Check out Visit Sarasota County’s events calendar to see what’s happening each week at NBP.