The famous Disney Parks Turkey Leg is known for being a popular snack. In fact, guests love the treat so much it has inspired hats and t-shirts (as Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller detailed in this recent post) toy merchandise, and even sweet snacks that resemble the tasty turkey goodness.
Which brings me to a question: what does a Disney Parks Turkey Leg have in common with the 110m hurdles? Not much, unless that hurdler is David Payne.
A Silver Medalist at the 2008 Olympics and a former U.S. Champion, David chose ESPN Wide World of Sports as a training ground for his run at Gold in the 2012 Summer Games in London. He’s training under the tutelage of an all-time legend in U.S.A. Track & Field, Coach Brooks Johnson. Brooks has coached a track and field participant at every Olympic Games since 1968 and is utilizing the pristine facilities at ESPN Wide World of Sports to train athletes this year.
While David is all business when it comes to training, he’s a fun-loving guy. So when I challenged him to race “a legendary Disney figure,” he didn’t know what to expect but was up for it anyway. Perhaps he thought he was racing Mickey, Goofy or Donald, because I think he was a bit surprised when a six-foot-tall Turkey Leg emerged to meet him at the start line. This is only the second time my homemade Turkey Leg costume has been worn. It made a cameo at last year’s “Trick or Meet-Up.” And now with this race under its belt, I think it’s time to retire the drumstick.
I don’t think David has ever raced a giant Turkey Leg and I doubt he ever will again. But he and Coach Johnson were great sports in letting me share the track, at least for a few minutes, with one of the best athletes in the world and one of the sport’s all-time great coaches.
(I also found out how hard it is to run with aluminum foil-wrapped shoes.)