Sandbridge: Turkey Trot tradition brings families to Thanksgiving race

14-month-old Nora Shewe ran a race with her parents Billy and Kristy Shewe of Winston-Salem, N.C., though Nora was well bundled up and had the benefit of being in a stroller. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]
Ed. — This story ran in print on Nov. 23, 2018.


SANDBRIDGE — The annual Charlie Normile Turkey Trot Race for the Fallen brought about 750 participants to Sandbridge on Thursday, Nov. 22, for a Thanksgiving tradition.

It includes a 5K, a one-mile run and a Gobble Wobble race for children five and under. And it commemorates the life of 2-year-old Charlie Normile, who died in 2011. The race benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation.

Charlie’s mom, Elise Normile, said the event will have another special goal highlighting its connection to the military. “Next year, we’ll be raising money for an actual Navy SEAL memorial in Sandbridge,” she said.

Normile said she was thankful for support from the community for this year’s event.Participants included locals, folks returning for the holidays and tourists who decided to run on Turkey Day for a good cause.

Abigail Axelrod, 32, of Jupiter, Fla., was visiting family in Chesapeake for the holiday, and she completed her first 5K. Her sister, Amanda Downie of Raleigh-Durham, N.C., offered a high-five as Axelrod neared the finish line. “This was fun,” Axelrod said. “Maybe we’ll make it a tradition.”

Oliver Vinson, 7, of Hillsboro, N.C., races toward the finish line with his uncle, Scott Gemmell-Davis of Charlotesville, during Charlie Normile’s Turkey Trot Race for the Fallen held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22, in Sandbridge. They were visiting family in Sandbridge for the holiday. After the run, Vinson summed up the run: “Good.” [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

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