GREENSBORO, N.C. — Julie Hughes’ longstanding tradition is to run for her grandkids and her friends.
“Always get those little nerves right before I run,” Hughes said, checking her wrist. “Gotta get our watch ready!”
“I run every race with this bracelet,” she continued. “It has the initials of all six of our grandchildren, so I keep them close to heart wherever I run.”
The running community provided her with friendship she never knew existed.
“I think a lot of it is running with my friends,” Hughes said. “I just love being out here with my friends and just spending the time together.”
It’s been about five years since I’ve run a 5K. Growing up, we ran the Turkey Trot a lot, but I never really understood why you get up so early for Thanksgiving.
Being out in the run, seeing the joy in people’s faces and the families being together, you come to understand.
“Lot of families come out, we do it with their families,” Hughes said while running. “Like me today, I’m doing it with 11 members of my family, all out here between the one-miler and the 5K. That’s the best thing — it’s all about family.”
Before the 5K, she spent time cheering on her family in the mile race, and they were waiting for her at the finish line.
It doesn’t take much to realize Hughes’ family is very important to her. Just ask them what they’re thankful for.
“I am thankful for all my grandkids who I love very, very much.”
A joyous start to a happy Thanksgiving.