Nontraditional Thanksgiving: trading turkey for the race track - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Nontraditional Thanksgiving: trading turkey for the race track

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The week of Thanksgiving, many people may be finalizing travel plans or heading to the grocery store for that last ingredient in grandma's homemade pie.

But for others - Thanksgiving doesn't mean turkey and stuffing at the dining room table. Some folks in the Cedar Valley are practicing a "nontraditional" Thanksgiving, like local athlete Ron Scally.

Scally heads to Tulsa, Okla. this Thanksgiving to race in the Grand National Race for BMX. The race has become his Thanksgiving plan for the last four years, and he placed third in the race last year.

He raced as a teenager and decided to get back into the sport about four and a half years ago.

"They were some of the best years of my life growing up as a kid, so I wanted to enjoy those times again. I'm probably having more fun now than I did as a kid," Scally said.

After losing his mom about four years ago, Scally said the holidays don't have the same spiritual meaning. He said his mom was his biggest fan, having only missed a handful of races his entire life.

"My mom was the complete backbone of every holiday. Every birthday was special, so without her there it just takes away from that a little bit."

Scally said he chooses to race at Thanksgiving to keep his spirits up doing something he loves. He said even though his mother is no longer here, she's by his side at every turn as he rounds the track.

"I wear the pink gloves in memory of my mom. I wear them at the nationals, pink was her favorite color, so anytime I'm racing nationals I try to wear the pink gloves for her."

Scally will be forgoing the turkey as he practices on Thanksgiving Day for the races Friday through Sunday. For the dedicated athlete, first place will taste much better than any bird from the oven...

"I'll take a trophy any day over a turkey."

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