Henry family strengthens bond in Turkey Trot
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
Eric and BaShaun ran their first Turkey Trot to break up the monotony of what little running they did around their Buck Lake neighborhood.
Seven years later the annual race in Southwood on Thanksgiving morning has taken on a little more significance for the Henrys. This year was especially different for the couple, who traditionally would go home to the cooking of BaShaun’s grandmother or Eric’s mother.
Both matriarchs died a month apart last year. The void that they left has affected the Henrys’ Thanksgiving Day plans, as they had a much smaller celebration Thursday.
“It’s weird, but we are still thankful and grateful,” said BaShaun. “My grandmother lived to be 96 and (Eric’s) mother died younger because she had some chronic illnesses. She is not suffering any more so it’s bitter-sweet.”
The couple raced in the 5K division with their three sons – 13-year-old twins Rodney and Ryan and 10-year-old Coy.
This year’s race had some small but important firsts for the family. Coy completed the race without walking for the first time, as did his mother.
Ryan had the family’s best time at 29 minutes and 59 seconds; Coy, 36:06; Rodney was 32:03; mom was 36:33. Eric might have had a time better than the 36:06 he ran, but he decided to help Coy keep pace in his quest to run the entire course. They crossed the finish line together.
That he finished with his son in a race that his entire family ran is priceless, Eric said.
“It strengthens our bond to not be so fragmented,” said Eric, who ran track at FAMU High in the late 1980s. “I had my father in my home and I want to make sure that I pass that along to (the boys) and let them understand the value of family especially now that their grandmother has passed. We have to rally together.”
The boys obviously enjoyed spending the first few hours of Thanksgiving with their parents.
“To come out here and race and be more proactive with my life is pretty good to run with my family; just get out of the house,” said Rodney.
Added Ryan: “It’s a good experience to come out here and run. It’s good to get the blood flowing, too.”
The family was among more than 5,000 runners who braved early-morning showers to participate in the annual event.
In the men’s 15K Anthony Malatesta was the overall winner in a time of 51:47, while Katie Sharron ran 56:36 to win the women’s division. Justin Garrard took 32:42 to win the men’s 10K title for a second consecutive year. Leah McFarland ran 35:38 for first place in the women’s division. Ricardo Estremera won the men’s 5K in 15:11, while Kat Sack’s 20:07 was good enough for the women’s title.