Start Your Thanksgiving Right at the 16th Annual Atalaya Turkey Trot - SantaFe.com
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Helping teachers and kids, now that’s something to get excited about! This year, Atalaya Elementary School celebrates its Annual Turkey Trot, the Thanksgiving Day 5K race and 1K kid’s run that has become a Santa Fe tradition. With more than 450 runners taking part, it’s also the biggest fundraiser for the Atalaya Elementary PTA, providing critical funding to support both kids and teachers. Atalaya Elementary’s annual Turkey Trot, starts and ends at the Santa Fe Railyard Park, on November 23, 2023.

What originally started as a fun, healthy opportunity to raise necessary funding for after-school programs, has grown over the years. For the first ten years, it was held on the school campus and throughout the surrounding neighborhoods, but it eventually got too big for the areas and caused a lot of congestion and traffic. From there it moved to the Santa Fe Plaza for three years, but again the crowds became too much. In 2021, the event moved to the Railyard, where it now has plenty of room to grow.

Running shoes getting ready for the Turkey Trot.

What the Turkey Trot Supports

Organized by the PTA, the Atalaya Turkey Trot raises funds through sponsorships and entry fees. According to PTA President Anna North, these funds are then used to fuel programs at the school, such as The National Dance Institute for third graders, or to send fifth graders to Albuquerque for a five-week space camp.

“This race helps the school in so many ways,” says Atalaya Elementary School Principal Katherine Diaz. “First of all, it helps us help our community, by bringing healthy traditions to our students, their families, and Santa Fe. Our school-based mission is to build a very well-rounded student, with a positive mindset, who knows where they stand within the community and, of course, are well educated. When we picture the kind of student that we want to promote from sixth grade, we have a picture of a very well-rounded and healthy student, who gives and gets from the community. The Turkey Trot is just a perfect example of that. It’s the quintessential Atalaya feat.”

Turkey Trot Details

The 5K trot will begin at 9 a.m., at the Railyard Park, running to Ashbaugh Park on the Acequia Trail, then back to the Railyard. Early registration fee is $40 before race day, or $45 on race day. The 1K for kids up to the age of 12 will be run in the park at 10:30 a.m. Early registration fee is $20 before race day, and $25 on race day.

One thing that has remained the same over the years, despite the location moves, is the prizes for all races. Fresh pies are donated from local markets and awarded to the top finishers in various age groups for both the 5K and 1K runs. “They can eat them on site, or take them home for their Thanksgiving dinner, and not feel guilty at all!” says Katherine. Also included are other gifts and certificates from local markets.

The organizers want everybody to know that registering early is the best way to go, if you want a discount. Registration is now open online, but for those who don’t register online – which closes 24 hours before the race – they can show up at the event from 7:45 to 8:45 to register. They can also show up at Atalaya’s Bib Pickup, the day before. For more information, or to register, visit the website.

This article was posted by David Salcido

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