‘Hunger doesn’t stop for COVID’: IshpeTurkey Trot moves forward amidst pandemic

North Central UP

ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) — Since March, events have been cancelled left and right, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a local organizer found a way to get the community together, without putting each other at risk.

“We sat down a couple of months ago and had to make a decision, do we put this on? do we continue forward?” said Tyler Gauthier, Director, Go Get Outside.

“The answer that we came up with in our planning meeting was hunger doesn’t stop for COVID and that is what we relayed our event on and our desire and our aspirations to get this thing going is we need to continue.”

This year’s Turkey Trot received positive feedback by the local community, according to organizers. They said an event like this needed to happen to help guide the community through these tough times.

“If we miss one year, there’s an opportunity there for our community to struggle or continue to struggle, so we felt the need to move forward.”

Gauthier called this event a “solution based” event, in terms of making sure they are able to keep participants safe.

“We thought that if we could put on a safe event, allowing everybody to feel that were meeting the guidelines, there would be no opportunity for criticism and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve put on an event that people can meet the guidelines and it’s turned out exactly the way we wanted it.”

Typically, partcipates sign-up for the turkey trot day of, but this isn’t a typical year.

Online registration were required for this event and may have been a blessing in disguise. In previous years, around 200 people sign-up, but surprisingly, over 160 people attended even amidst a pandemic.

“Actually I’m seeing new faces, which is really neat. I just had a conversation with someone who came out of town and still wanted to do it. I got people coming from Marquette, of course our Ishpeming, Negaunee, and West-end citizens and they’re all here. We are seeing the normal attendees, but we are also seeing a new flash of faces, which is pretty incredible.”

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