Brian and Kim Kelpe at Missouri Running Company hosted the Meandering Turkey trail run November 18 at Klaus Park in Cape Girardeau, MO. In 2011, Brian decided to share his passion for trail running with the local running community. Combining the trail run with a customer appreciation event makes the Meandering Turkey a fun late-fall event. The five-plus miles of trail are mostly single-track with plenty of hills and switchbacks. Overcast skies and temperatures in the low forties are not everyone’s ideal racing conditions, but that didn’t seem to bother almost a hundred people who came to run.
Some came with their running group. Some came to show their love and support of the Kelpes and Missouri Running Company. Some came because they love running trails. Some came because they’re freaky fast. Some came for a good workout. Some came for the post-race food and fellowship. Regardless of the reason, all who came found the trail in great shape, runners of all abilities, and a fun after-race party. Chili and beer were shared with friends around the fire while others finished the run and results were tabulated. There was even a mile run through the woods for the kids.
The swag and awards for the Meandering Turkey were unique and totally appropriate. All runners received a t-shirt and custom Swiftwick socks at check-in. Awards were hand made from trees, reflecting the nature of trail running. Winners of each age group were also given a tube of Nuun. Brian and Kim did a great job of making this a ‘must-do’ run for local runners.
Personally, I enjoyed the festive atmosphere and talking with friends I’ve made through the years. I rarely choose trails when running, but convenience is the main barrier for me. This run was challenging and exciting to navigate with short bursts up and down, lots of twists and turns, trees, roots and uneven surfaces that provided a great workout for my mind, legs and cardio system. I’m pretty sure my Garmin even had trouble keeping up with all the switchbacks.
I was puzzled that my Fenix logged seventy-three floors up and fifty-eight floors down over the five-mile run. Regardless, it took a week for my flat-land legs to recover from the workout. My response this year was identical to previous years where I vowed to run the trails of Klaus Park more often in the future. Hopefully, I will make good on that promise so I am better prepared for next year’s Meandering Turkey.