“That’s kind of a tradition we’ve had for years now,” said the younger Turner, who is based at GHC’s Rome campus.
Turner said it was his dad who first started running as a way to get fit and build a wall against the family’s other tradition — heart disease. So Turner started joining his dad as a youngster and never stopped running, competing in high school and at Reinhardt University.
“We used to train together, but the times started to separate,” said Turner, adding that he looks forward to slowing down every year to run with his dad on Thanksgiving. “It’s a great way for us to spend time together. And we earn our turkey, I guess you could say.”
The Thanksgiving race in Atlanta isn’t the only time Turner slows down and runs with friends or family. He said he likes to pace people because he enjoys helping fellow runners improve their times.
Meanwhile, few people can keep pace with him.
The first event Turner won came in October, finishing “13.1 Atlanta” in 1:15:03, a personal record and a time four-and-a-half minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. He’d like to shave about three minutes off his half marathon time so he can qualify for the sub-elite category at bigger events like New York.
This year he ran the New York City Marathon in the “regular” athletes section and finished at 2:42:29, a time good enough to rank him 171st out of more than 45,000 runners. That was only his second marathon, and the first one he ever really trained for (he ran with a friend for his first one).
Turner will shoot for that new low time in March at the Berry Half Marathon. He ran the event last year but paced a first-timer.