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More than 3,000 runners take part in Turkey Trot
Here’s a novel idea for a guilt-free Thanksgiving — run off the meal before you eat it.
More than 3,200 runners representing at least 36 states and Canada did exactly that Thursday at the 15th annual Turkey Trot, held at the Briargate Family Center YMCA.
“I wanted to burn calories before the big feast tonight,” said Kate Campbell, who was participating with two nieces and her aunt, Dottie Basgall.
The field, which took a full 2 minutes, 25 seconds to cross the start line, included many families.
“We really don’t look at it as a race,” Briargate YMCA executive director Joe Driskell said. “We look at it as a family and community event.”
And among the many families was the Basgall quartet, all sporting homemade feathered headdresses made the night before. Campbell participated in 2011 and had a great time.
“I said that we got to all do this together as a family and really feel good eating later,” Campbell said.
“She talked me into this,” Basgall laughed. “I don’t run so I said I could walk. (Kate) said I could walk-run and I said ‘I can walk.’
“So here we are.”
So were 3,076 others in the 5-kilometer main event. The kids’ fun run earlier Thursday morning attracted between 250 and 300.
The course started on Austin Bluffs Parkway and wound through the neighborhood surrounding the Briargate YMCA. The rapid growth of the event will alter the course starting in 2013 since the side roads have become too narrow to accommodate the crowd.
The Turkey Trot was begun in 1998 by the Briagate YMCA’s first executive director, Casey Klein, who got the idea from an event of the same name in his native Dallas. That first Colorado Springs Turkey Trot had no more than 100 runners. Since then, like waistlines on Thanksgiving, it has expanded exponentially.
All proceeds from the event go to the Community Support Campaign, and those proceeds reached $43,000 in 2012. The program provides financial assistance for low-income families who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate in YMCA activities.
While the Turkey Trot is a family event, there were competitive runners entered. Former Western State runner Sean Brown, 24, was the first of those to finish with an unofficial time of 15:48.
“I’m coming off marathon training so this was just for fun,” said Brown, currently a waiter at Zio’s Italian Grill. “And it was.”
The women’s winner was Ashlee Nelson, 32, a mother and physical therapist at Memorial Hospital. Her unofficial time was 19:31.
As the Basgalls crossed the finish line, other family members were there to snap pictures. Campbell said that they were “getting mentally prepped for next year” and that “of course” there would be a bit of peer pressure to get them all to participate next year expected at the dinner table.
Especially since four of them had already burned the calories.