Greensburg Thanksgiving Turkey Trot Stories

Meet Dr. Barry Bupp

How did the Turkey Trot start?
There was a group of us that always met at the YMCA and ran during lunch. Mark Sorice and I particularly loved to run on Thanksgiving Day. We wished there was a race. Mark said, well, I’m on the board of the American Cancer Society, so let’s do a fundraiser for them. So we recruited some of the other guys we ran with, and they helped out. Then we decided we could help other non-profits, too.
 
How many of the original committee members are still involved in the race?
Currently there is just Mark and I [Barry], but the committee has always remained strong with community members who are passionate about helping others.
 
How long has this race been happening?
We began the process over 30 years ago, and this year we are celebrating our 29th race.
 
Has the race always started at the court house and been the route it is today?
No. The first two years, it started by the bar association. Then Larry Breitenstein made a suggetion, and Mark confirmed, that we could get the court house, and we did. The race was moved to start there and travel throughout the city. And then a few years ago, due to traffic safety and access to the hospital, the race was altered to not block entrances to the ER.
 
Have you run in all of the races?

Yes! And always without a shirt. The coldest I have run it was 18 degrees!

 

So, what’s the story about the shirts?

Well, when the race was being developed and we realized it was going to happen, I said hey, my [Barry’s] wife [Gail] is an artist, she can design it. And every year she would design the shirt, adding different characters. Then once she had the main characters, she would create the theme. She In always tried to make it something pertaining to what was going on at the time. In 2011, Gail was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, but she still continued designing our race shirts. In 2015 she would design her last shirt,  the 25th annual race, because in March of 2016, she lost her battle. Her designs live on as her previous drawings have been used to create the past 3 years of the trot and will again be used for 2020.

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Meet Rich Horne

Why did you start running the race?

I use to run at the “Y” and I use to run competitive marathons. I knew Barry [Bupp], Mark [Sorice], Gail [Bupp] and some others from being at the “Y” together. I did it because it was “first ever” of the race 29 years ago. The very first year, there was around 125-130 participants. The second year there seemed like there was a couple hundred. There have only been two, that I know of, that have done every single event, myself and Barry [Bupp]. I use to work for the old Trib years ago and lived in Greensburg. I have since changed careers and moved to Latrobe, after 4 or 5 years of the race, but I still come back to Greensburg to do THIS race. I mean, after you have done 15-20… you just keep going!

What does this race mean to you?

It’s my tradition. I originally came out as support of Mark and Barry and others who come together to participate. Now it’s a part of my day, my tradition, and it gives back to the nonprofit community.

Do you plan to run this year?

YES! Absolutely. I’m going to register and then I’m going to meet some of my friends at court house and run the race like we normally would.

What is your favorite memory of the Greensburg Turkey Trot?

Approximately 13-14 years ago, my high-school daughter came to run with me, and it was snowing that morning. It was COLD! As we were running along, it starts snowing harder and harder. It starts snowing so hard we couldn’t even see! As we turned the corner onto Cribb street, we heard a loud BOOM, followed by a lightning strike! This was all while we were running!

So, you said you have run the previous 28 races. Do you really still have every shirt?

Yes, I do. After you do it so many times, and you start keeping all the shirts; you can’t stop the tradition! Some day, I will bequeath all of these to the race!

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