The Mighty Gobbler Run/Walk will kick off at Lutheran Church of the Master in Troy, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. More than 1,300 participants are expected to take part in the ninth annual event.

The Mighty Gobbler Run/Walk will kick off at Lutheran Church of the Master in Troy, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. More than 1,300 participants are expected to take part in the ninth annual event.

Photo provided by Paul Walters

Troy to host ninth annual Mighty Gobbler Run/Walk

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published November 20, 2023


TROY — Troy will once again host the annual Mighty Gobbler 5K/1M Run on Thanksgiving morning.

Organizers say this, the ninth year it has taken place, will be the biggest ever and that it will continue to bring an enjoyable whimsy and rush to the community for the holiday.

“We have people ringing cowbells and people lighting fire pits in their front yards so they can cheer runners on,” said organizer Paul Walters. “My favorite part is the huge positive energy of everybody being there and smiling and the silliness of the big inflatable turkeys and those who come in costumes. One member of our congregation runs every year in a big, giant turkey suit. It’s so fun.”

Registration costs $37 for the 5K race and $32 for the 1-mile race. To register, visit or call (248) 643-0176 for more information. Sign-ins will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day. The race will kick off at Lutheran Church of the Master, 3333 Coolidge Highway in Troy.

Walters said they are expecting 1,300 participants of all ages and abilities for the family-friendly event, which has raised over $50,000 for community charities since it began in 2015.

“This year, we are giving some additional prize money. It’s $250 for first, $150 for second and $50 for third for both the men’s and women’s races,” he said. “We’ll have more people. It will be our biggest run ever. We’re planning for 1,300 runners, which will be about a 20% increase over last year. We’ll have even more turkeys in our world-famous Tunnel of Turkeys.”

Proceeds from the race will benefit the Micah 6 Community Development Center in Pontiac.

“We are in a low-income area in west Pontiac, and our neighborhood is a federally designated food desert, which means it’s far enough from a grocery store for people in the area to not have access to healthy or affordable food,” said Dylan Pyeatt, Micah 6’s mission developer. “We have two greenhouses and urban gardens on 3 acres of land, and we also set up a low-cost fruit and vegetable store called ‘Sprouts,’ where we offer healthy food. We also do community development and kids programming. We’re also revitalizing Webster Elementary School into a community center with kids and art programming and have founded a small business incubator.”

“We chose Micah 6 because we like to select local charities who are having a big impact on their community,” added Walters. “A gift for a smaller organization can have a big impact on them. They’re located in Pontiac, and they are looking to redevelop and revitalize parts of Pontiac.”

Pyeatt said that the support given by the Mighty Gobbler funds aids them in supporting a number of beneficial programs that can help a lot of people.

“We’re extremely thankful for the Mighty Gobbler. It allows us to run our kids programming like our Santa’s Workshop gift giveaway and our Summer Slam back-to-school bash,” he said. “We give out school supplies, backpacks and shoes to local kids through that.”

Walters said he hopes the community will once again turn out to support what he said is becoming a great Thanksgiving tradition in Troy.

“This is a fabulous way to start Thanksgiving Day with your family,” he said. “It is fun, joyful and energetic. There’s nothing but smiles on the faces of the people you see. It is an event for people of all ages and all abilities. We have a 1-mile run and little kids sprint it and seniors go through it with walkers. We even have some professional runners.”

“This is a great event, it is a lot of fun and it supports a great cause,” Pyeatt added. “It supports kids in need in Pontiac and helps support community development and healthy eating in these communities as well. We’re really appreciative, and it makes a huge difference.”