GBO Turkey Trot Supports A Great Cause

While some are content to settle into the couch for some football after the Thanksgiving feast, others choose to brave the cold and run or walk for a good cause.  That was the case for the Turkey Trot 5K, 10K and Gobble Wobble on Saturday, Nov 25th at the GBO.

“Yes it was wonderful! We had more participants this year than we’ve ever had.”

That’s Mali Minter, one of the organizers of the annual event held on the Green Bank Observatory grounds.  The event raises funds for the PCHS Warrior track team and for the William Dilley Track Scholarship.  Dilley was a 1978 graduate of Pocahontas County High School who passed away in 2008.  Minter explains how the scholarship came about.

“So, when William passed away, my husband Toney and I sat and talked a lot about William, we wanted to do something [but] we didn’t know what to do,” she said. “We had a lot of discussions and I think it was Toney’s idea that William loved track so much, any time we were at a track meet, William was there.  He was always helping out with the kids, he loved to run track, even before his kids were in high school.”

They spoke with William’s widow Brenda and their children who gave their blessing to the idea of establishing a scholarship in Williams name.

“Since then we’ve given a scholarship every year.  Some years we give it to one young girl, one young man; and other years we give it to two guys or two girls.  It’s not given to the most outstanding athlete, it’s given to the athlete that shows teamwork and dedication and sportsmanship and helps the other students on the track team and is a good person.”

Three races are held during the GBO Turkey Trot.  The 1K Gobble Wobble is for the 6 and under crowd and this year included several obstacles like pool noodles and hoops to run through.  The 5K mostly follows the road that goes down past several telescopes like the 140 foot, and the Green Bank Telescope before looping around to the school house road and across the airport runway to finish where it started.  The more strenuous 10K trail run is mostly run on trails that are part of the observatory grounds. Minter said the popularity of the event has grown with the use of a virtual option and social media.

“The first year we got kind of a big bump in people is when we put it on social media,” she said. “And then, the year the pandemic happened we couldn’t have it and we did a virtual race and that grew our numbers. But since then, we do both in person and virtual.  We have a lot of people who want to support our scholarship [and] track team, but don’t live here or may not be here this weekend.  So, about half our numbers are virtual now, which is wonderful.”

Full disclosure, this was my second year to participate in the 5K race.  And while I missed placing second in my age group by just a few seconds, I nonetheless had a great time.  Because when you’re running, or in my case, mostly walking, for a good cause, it’s not about the time, it’s about the fellowship and camaraderie.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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