By David Yon
Thanksgiving is a time for families and the Turkey Trot Races seem to thrive on that theme. I have never actually counted, but if you go down the results list you will find all sorts of family combinations. From the one mile Turkey Gobbler to the 15K there are all combinations of people taking advantage of the family discount, running together, participating on teams and generally celebrating the day together.
Of course wife and husband team Breeda and Lee Willis took it to an extreme as they each won a race. Breeda became the first woman to claim an overall win in a Turkey Trot race by capturing the 5K title in 16: 56, almost a minute ahead of second place finisher and male winner Jason Stegall who ran 17:55. Lee was equally dominant in the 10K claiming the title with a 33:02. It was his third 10K win and fourth Turkey Trot title. Allison Eagan took control of the women’s race almost breaking 40:00 minutes with a winning time of 40:02. Gary Droze, winner of the 2000 Community Champion Award, carried the family theme another step forward by joining hands with Art Remillard to cross the finish line together in the 15K in a time of 54:30. It was Gary’s 5th title – one 5K, three 10Ks and now a 15K. And Jane Johnson led the first family of running across the finish line in 58:39 to defend her 15K title. She was joined in the race by husband Brent (1:12:29) and daughters Kara Newell (40:36 in the 10K) and Alexis Newell (25:58 in the 5K).
The team competition was intense. Results are determined by adjusting times for age and sex and then adding the top four finishers adjusted times. The Railroad Roughnecks (Stephen Andrews, Greg Harris, Mike Lewis, Herbie Thiele and Alex Milatich) and the Flash (Joe Dexter, Jeff Bryon, James Dexter, Nadine Dexter and Joe Donoghue) were only four seconds apart with the Flash edging out the Roughnecks 74:20 to 74:24 in the 5K.
The 10K title saw the Tate’s Hell Track Club (Hobson Fulmer, Nick Yonclas, Mary Jean Yon, Bill McGuire and Tom Ratliffe) claim first. The Racing Sloths (Sue Hensley, Ron Milliner, Alan Johansen and Bill Perry) took second place. The Masters put together the winning team for the 15K (Jay Silvanima, Bud Fennema, Jane Johnson, Gary Droze and John Graves). They edged out the WYSIWYG’s (Tim Unger, Tim Simpkins, Greg Waddell, Mike Sims and Mike LaBossiere).
Casey Perkins won the mile race in 5:57 ahead of Nathan Kenney’s 6:59. Meagan Scott grabbed the girls title with a 7:02 just ahead of Julie Harrison who ran 7:10. Gilchrist, Deerlake and Hartsfield made off with Kent Vann Partners in Excellence awards. Patrick Walker was kind enough to donate a U-Haul truck to carry away all the clothes and canned goods runners brought to the race and to Fitness Etc. The collection made race day meaningful to lots of people!
There were approximately 566 finishers in all of the races the second biggest crowd since the race moved to Thanksgiving Day and the Fairgrounds. We also had the best group of race day volunteers yet! They earned a big thanks from all of the runners.