Giving Thanks: ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot Spotlight on Pipo
Jose Nicholas Hernandez, AKA Pipo, ThunderCloud Subs’ operations manager for more than three decades, has been instrumental in the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot every year since the first Trot in 1991.
Every Thanksgiving, Pipo arrives at the event site long before the crowds of people arrive, in pitch darkness of 4:30 a.m. to begin setting things up. He manages all of the food for the event, including 50 cases of bananas, 90 gallons of coffee, muffins, bagels, and juices—enough for 21,000 runners and walkers.
During the Trot, you can spot Pipo zipping from place to place in his golf cart on the walkie-talkie, delivering food and making sure everything is running smoothly. Pipo’s two daughters Alisa (18) and Ana (23) have volunteered at the event with their dad almost every year and usually do the one-mile walk as well.
Pipo used to handle all of the registration duties for the event before everything was done online. Now, he helps with registration and packet pick-up in the weeks leading up to the Trot. Pipo is always happy to lend a helping hand and jump in and help with whatever is needed.
After the Trot every year, Pipo doesn’t gather at a feast with family and friends. Instead, he has a few beers with the clean-up crew (it is a great celebration for team ThunderCloud when the event is over and the site is cleared), then heads home, eats a quick meal, and goes straight to sleep. After all, it’s exhausting putting together an event the scope of the Trot! He doesn’t mind, though. He’s from the Canary Islands in Spain, so Thanksgiving wasn’t a part of his childhood. Plus, he loves volunteering at the Trot and being a part of an event that gives back to the community in such a big way.
Austin’s beloved Thanksgiving Day tradition truly wouldn’t be what it is today without Pipo’s hard work and dedication.