Thanksgiving day race returns for second year Turkey Trot raises money for Shop with a Cop

Published 10:22 am Monday, November 13, 2023

By Fiona Morgan

The second annual Titletown Turkey Trot race is happening Thanksgiving Day in Danville, and will raise funds for Shop with a Cop.

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The family-focused event will have a 5K race, a one-mile walk, food trucks, games, bounce houses, and more. It will be at Millennium Park on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 23.

The 5K race will start at 8 a.m. and will be a chip timed event. It will go through the full Millennium Park trail. The price to enter is $30, which will increase after Nov. 10. The 5K will have awards for age groups and overall winners.

The race will be a closed course on paved trails, and the start and finish lines will be in the same location close to the parking lots.

The one-mile Gobble Wobble will start at 8:15 a.m., and is geared toward those who want a shorter walk or jog, and for families with small children or pets. The Gobble Wobble will not be timed, and is $25 to enter.

There is also a virtual race option for $37.50. People can sign up for the race by going to

All participants will receive a Titletown Turkey Trot branded beanie, Apex Promoz buff and commemorative finisher medal. Race Producer John Bodner said they are also adding an option of an ear warmer this year in addition to the beanie.

Bodner said the event will have a festival feel, with music, a food truck, coffee truck, two bounce houses, games, and free popcorn and cotton candy. People will get free race photos, and can take Thanksgiving-themed photos with the Titletown turkey in costume.

Apex Promoz, which is based in South Carolina, started this event in 2022. Bodner was its director last year and is again this year.

Bodner is from Danville, and said he wanted to start the race to support his sister Jennifer Gaddis’ efforts in putting on Shop with a Cop.

Bodner said the event last year had a very successful start and went better than expected. It was Apex Promoz’ first event in Danville. They had 267 participants last year, and this year they hope to hit 300.

“Typically there’s a couple years of growth that have to occur, you start out with small numbers and then gradually over time build up to larger events,” Bodner said.

He expects this year to be bigger with more people attending, and they hope to eventually get to 500 participants in future years. Bodner said they have 120 signed up currently, but many participants usually register in the last week or two before an event.

They raised $2,000 for Shop with a Cop last year, and the fundraising goal this year is $3,000. Shop with a Cop is an annual event where police officers and sheriff’s deputies take local kids to Walmart to shop for Christmas presents. These are kids whose families may not be able to afford Christmas presents.

Gaddis coordinates the fundraising for Shop with a Cop, which usually needs about $4,500 to be fully funded. They raise money from local people and businesses in addition to the race.

Bodner said the race will be similar to last year, with the same course as last year, but more activities and food.

He said the event is for everyone regardless if they participate or not. Even if only one person in a family wants to participate, there are things that the rest of a family can do.

“Our hope is to continue to just make it more of a family outing, not necessarily focused on everyone participating, but just everyone being there,” Bodner said.

He continued, “This is a big travel day, where there are a lot of people in town who don’t necessarily live there anymore. I’m one of those people, and you can see a lot of familiar faces which is a really good thing on Thanksgiving day.”

The name ‘Titletown’ is referring to the rivalry between Danville and Boyle County schools, as they hope to make the race a community-centered event that highlights local sports.

Apex Promoz has started several other races in Danville throughout the year, including the Run for the Brass in June, the Old Glory Twilight Run in July, the Fall Y’all race in October, and the Frosty Feet run in December.

Bodner said those events have been successful in their first years and drew about 100 people each. Sponsorships are split across all races, because they did them as a series.

The top three male and female overall winners, and age group winners, will receive a gold, silver or bronze Apex Promoz winners medal. The age groups are 0-9, 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70-plus. The awards ceremony will be at 9 a.m.