Turkey Trot before turkey dinner a Nevada County Thanksgiving tradition | TheUnion.com

Turkey Trot before turkey dinner a Nevada County Thanksgiving tradition

The 12th annual Michael Bratton II Turkey Trot drew a record number of participants to Nevada Union High School last year for the 5K/10K walk/run. For the skinny on this year's event, check out Sports Page C1.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

The air was crisp and the trees were bright with fall colors Thursday morning as thousands of runners, walkers and spectators came together at the Nevada Union High School track for the 12th annual Michael Edward Bratton II Turkey Trot.

The traditional 5K/10K race draws participants to Nevada City each Thanksgiving in support of local youth activities. Michael Bratton, who organizes the event, spoke to the masses Thursday morning in memory of his son, Michael II, who took his own life in 2006 after years of battling depression.

“All of you here are helping make a difference,” Bratton said. “Helping others get more information and learn more about depression, because there is help. There is hope. Every year in the crowd, there’s somebody who has just lost somebody to suicide, and that’s not okay. … Even one in our community is too many.”

Over the past 12 years, Turkey Trot participants have raised over $350,000 for local youth groups, including counseling and suicide awareness programs.

Racers, in support of a good cause, enjoyed a friendly competition at this year’s trot. For many, the event has become an annual tradition and a chance to catch up with old friends.

More than 2,500 people ran or walked the course this year.

Decker Krough, a Nevada City resident and a member of Nevada Union High School’s cross country and track teams, finished first in the 5K.

Krough has participated in the Turkey Trot since he was eight years old, he said, and this year was his first win.

Grass Valley’s Jade Bittner ran in the 11-to-14-year-old age group and finished first overall for the women’s 5K.

McKenna Henzie, another Grass Valley resident, followed closely behind.

Thursday’s race was Henzie’s fourth time participating in the Turkey Trot. She said the race is for a great cause, and she’s happy to uphold the tradition.

“Now I can eat lots of pie,” Henzie added.

In the 10K, Connor Fisher, from Lake Isabella, finished first for the men and Nevada City’s Makie Ohler finished first for the women.

“We had a record turnout this year,” Bratton said.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.

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