Thanksgiving Day, 1998


By David Yon


There was a little bit of insanity and a lot of festiveness in the air as approximately 485 runners and walkers gathered at the Leon County Fair grounds to participate in a 1 mile fun run, a 5K, 10K and 15K run. While everyone took off down Tram Road together, they soon were running in different directions depending on the race distance they had chosen. Despite the different paths there were common themes and goals – a chance to celebrate our community and to share good feelings and good times.

There were fast times as local stand outs Lee Willis (32:38) and Sarah Docter-Williams (37:37) won the 10K in outstanding times. Michael Joanos (16:33) and Anne Johansen (21:56) followed up outstanding performances at the high school cross country state championships with wins in the 5K. Jane Johnson (58:20) and Robert Pautienus (52:47) took home the titles in the 15K.

There were serious grand prix battles as well as lots of social running filled with Turkey Day chatter about upcoming meals and family reunions. Speaking of families, there were teams made up mostly of family members as many people took advantage of family entry fee discounts. The Achilles track club made its debut as Phillip Yon and Vickie Lowe wheeled the 15K course in good times. There was a new emphasis on kids running as the Turkey Gobbler saw a record turn out, as the new Kent Vann Partners in Excellence Award program was introduced. The Shelter got a double bonus as it will benefit from a successful food drive and money raised through entry fees.

Thanks to everyone who participated in making this event a great place to be on Thanksgiving Morning!

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