Bloomington Bagel Company co-owners Katie Weismiller (left) and Sue Aquila. Turkey mascot played by Dr. Kala Zorn. Courtesy photo


For many runners, fall is race season, and those looking to hit the road or trail will find several local opportunities. Area races include the Red, White & Rosé 5k at Butler Winery on October 21; the Tecumseh Trail Marathon, Half-Marathon, and Quarter Marathon on October 28; and the Brown County YMCA Hilly Half on November 11.

One of the most popular events is the Turkey Trots 5k, sponsored by Bloomington Bagel Co. on Thanksgiving Day. This annual untimed race draws as many as 1,000 walkers and runners—and even some dogs—who come out to enjoy the camaraderie of friends and family before settling in for a day of feasting. The free community event starts at 7:30 a.m. at Bloomington Bagel, 113 N. Dunn St.

Owner Sue Aquila says she’s glad the Turkey Trots has become a popular holiday tradition. “Thanksgiving is about being with people we choose to be with in our life,” she says. “It’s a day we love to indulge in food and connection. Starting out the day running with people who share those values and want connection with the community makes it really meaningful.”

Aquila, a long-time triathlete, says people of all ages and ability levels are welcome, as well as those pushing strollers and running with dogs. She adds that the race is intended to be a “no barriers” run—without cost or registration—to make it more inviting. “I’m hoping it’s a gateway event for people to start a healthy lifestyle,” she says.

Aquila and a small group of friends started the Thanksgiving Day run 15 years ago, and it grew as they invited more people to join them. Her shop provides free bagels, coffee, and water bottles to participants. One highlight is a giant turkey mascot who greets people and poses for photos.

Jane St. John, 53, and her husband, Bob Woolford, 65, say they wouldn’t miss it. “That run has been part of our Thanksgiving tradition since it started,” St. John says. “It’s a time for us to share something we do all the time in a fun and celebratory way.”

For more information about the other races listed here, visit