Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkeys Ruin Trot for Hundreds

Not everyone enjoyed their Turkey Trot last Thursday.

The Drumstick Dash is a huge turkey trot in the cozy Broadripple neighborhood of Indianapolis. When I say "huge", I mean 17,000 runners and $600,000 dollars raised so Wheeler Mission can continue to feed people. When I say "cozy", I mean it doesn't have nearly enough room for 17,000 runners, let alone parking for their cars.

So, many runners leave their cars in satellite parking lots and take shuttles to the race. After a fun run with friends and/or family and people in pilgrim costumes, some pictures for Facebook, and a banana, they board the shuttle back to the parking area.

You can imagine them all rosy cheeked from the chilly run and full of Thanksgiving cheer, disembarking from the shuttle bus, eager to get home, grab a shower, and belly-up to a feast.

Unfortunately, for hundreds of these runners, their cheer was sapped when they saw that their car had been broken into. Phones, wallets, purses, GPSs... gone.

The problem here is that some people are just turkeys*. These turkeys knew that the cars belonged to Drumstick Dash runners, and that they wouldn't be back for over an hour. So, they proceeded to go all "smash and grab" up and down the rows of cars.

Imagine the fall, from the high of a great run to the shock of broken glass, the violation of your privacy, and the hassle of having to repair the windows, call in your cards, and replace your phone.

Now imagine it happening on Thanksgiving.


I've heard that over 100 cars were broken into. Let that sink in for a moment. 100 cars burglarized in an hour. The race organizers have vowed to improve security at the parking sites, which is great. But really, we need to be smarter. And not just at big races... all the time.

If you take your car to a race, or even a normal run, leave everything you can at home. Everything else goes with you or gets lock in the trunk. If you have a hatch instead of a trunk, cover your stuff up with a towel or blanket. The turkeys want to move fast. They won't waste time on cars unless they are pretty sure they'll get something for the effort. Don't give them any reason to think that there is anything of value in your car.

We want to think there aren't such turkey-ish people out there. There aren't very many, but they do exist, and they want us to forget that they're out there.

Take just a few seconds to secure your stuff, and remind your parking neighbor to do the same. The turkeys will still be turkeys, but if we spread the word and make sure they can't profit off of us, they'll leave us runners alone.

Good running,

*My first draft used a stronger word for these people.  It started with a "D". And ended with "icks". I replaced it with a G-rated word. Though I do feel it's an appropriate description, using it so much kinda crossed the line for the more sensitive readers of DR365.  Feel free to replace it in your head as you read.

For more on the break-ins, go here.