BOONE — The eighth annual High Country Turkey Trot 5K was held Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 22, on the Boone Greenway Trail, raising $40,000 for the Hospitality House.

The event featured nearly 1,100 participants from 26 different states — as far away as California and Utah — with 60 percent of participants coming from outside the seven counties of the High Country that are served by the Hospitality House. The event also collected 250 pounds of food from participants.

Among the top finishers, the High Country was well represented.

For the men, first place went to Michael Holland of Beech Mountain, with a time of 16:07.11, according to Big Kahuna Timing, which provided the race results. In second was Will Norris of Blowing Rock with a time of 16:43.81, followed by third-place finisher Wesley Ward of Chicago, who finished in 16:48.09.

Watauga High School’s standout runner Sophia Ritter crossed the finish line first for the women, with a time of 19:31.77. Tilda Helgesson of Blowing Rock was second with a 19:54.17 time, and in third was Jacqueline Parsons of Crumpler, finishing in 20:59.83.

The High Country Turkey Trot has been named a Top Ten Holiday 5K race by Our State magazine.

Hospitality House is a regional nonprofit transitional living facility and hunger, homelessness and crisis relief resource center serving seven rural North Carolina counties.

To learn more about Hospitality House, visit, follow them on Twitter @HospHouseBoone, Facebook at, Instagram @hosphouse or Snapchat @hosphouse.

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