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Thanksgiving Day road race in Avon to be virtual event

AVON, Nov. 23, 2020 – The third annual Bottoms Up Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot at Thompson Brook School will be a virtual event.

Race organizer Dawn Zavalishin had hoped to hold a race but when the number of COVID infections in the state and across the country began to rise, the race committee changed their minds.

“Our team has continuously monitored COVID-19 data, health district updates and state guideline changes. We take the safety of our participants very seriously,” Zavalishin said on the race website. “In light of the recent COVID-19 data both within Connecticut and across our country, it is with a heavy heart that our team has decided to cancel the in-person race.”

The 3.1-mile race was scheduled to kickoff at 9 a.m. beginning and ending at Thompson Brook School. The race had 106 runners in year one (2018) and more than doubled the number of runners a year ago with 252 runners.

“As much as we wanted to provide a venue for an in-person race this year, we felt it was best for the community and the town to go to a virtual status,” Zavalishin told The Hartford Courant.

A year ago, Jesse Tubb set a new course record with a winning time of 18:57 over the 3.1 mile course. Morgan Roche from Orlando, Fla,, won the women’s race, finishing fourth overall in the race with a course-record time of 19:03.

This year, runners are invited to compete virtually from Thursday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Dec. 5. Runners can sign up on the race’s website. There is a costume contest that runners can participate in for the best race day outfit.

The race is a 501c3 public charity that helps raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as well as provide financial support for those who can’t afford their annual colonoscopy, co-payments for infusions or maintenance medications associated with IBD.

2019: Record-setting run at Bottoms Up
2018: Runners brave frigid conditions to run on Thanksgiving morning

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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