Monday, February 26, 2024

Locals strut their stuff at Turkey Trot

Mineral Independent | November 29, 2023 12:00 AM

It was 33 degrees at 9 a.m. when the airhorn blast was the starting signal for the Turkey Trot 5K run/walk from the parking lot of the Mineral County Food Bank.

This was the second year of the Thanksgiving morning event when they had 80 participants and it may have doubled for this year. Maybe 80 dogs, but Drew Hanson who initiated the event through the Rec Club, was very happy with the turnout. 

“This is really for the people that stayed home for Thanksgiving. Those that aren’t visiting family or friends and looking for something fun to do in the morning.” 

Christmas music added to the festivities as volunteers were busy with registering runners and collecting donations. One volunteer was Cathy Kuhl who was a greeter and food-donation-handler. Like many others, this was her first year helping but she was certainly enjoying herself as the afternoon was going to be hectic. 

“My family is home. I have 15 people up there in the house. And a Great Dane dog,” she laughs. “But they are all coming any minute to run. Or walk.” 

Kuhl was going to stay at the finish line to help with the awards ceremony.

Superior Volunteer Fire Chief Scott Dodd and his 2-and-a-half-year-old son, Daxton, were standing at a fire ring staying warm. 

“Crowd control,” Dodd chuckled when asked what his role was during the Turkey Trot. 

Once the run began, the Dodd boys sat in a glossy red fire truck to block traffic from going on West Mullan where the participants would be.

Judy Stang and her Springer Spaniel arrived early to socialize, which was only a part of her day. 

“I’m going to go eat turkey at some friend’s home in St. Regis. And drink hot buttered rum,” she smiled. 

This was Stang’s first time entering the Turkey Trot and she was going to walk-and-follow as she didn’t know where the route went, but she did know it was 3.5 miles, total.

The Turkey Trot enticed 118 people to pre-register by Tuesday. Darlene Jasper handled the sign-in table bundled up in hardy, and stylish, attire and reported late entries were gladly accepted. 

“144 as of this morning,” she said as two more approached her. “Now don’t tell me your names because I think I know,” she said while scanning the list of participants. “So just a minute here…. Finley and Sam,” as they both grinned and acknowledged that she nailed it!

Many bystanders and participants dressed in costumes just to add more fun to an already humorous family event. Kelly Morrison had an inflatable grizzly bear around her waist while she held a fishing pole with a faux turkey leg dangling in front of the bears nose appealing it to keep moving forward. 

“I like doing crazy things and having fun,” she beamed. The K9’s on leash were distracted with all the excitement taking place. “My dogs were freaking out about him,” she said and decided not to bring them. 

Just like so many, this was Morrison’s first time in the Turkey Trot and she had purchased the bear-outfit just for the occasion. 

“Once this is over, I got to get home and get that turkey in the oven,” which was a common subject floating around the parking lot of the Mineral County Food Bank.

A native Mineral-ite, Sierra Ireland teaches fourth grade in St. Regis and honestly gets it when it comes to community involvement. 

“My Gramma (Rose Duncan) helps run the Food Bank and I help with the Rec Club, so I was involved, or in the middle, to help get this going,” Ireland explains.

“Not everyone is on Facebook, which is where we mostly promoted the event, but print material for posters can get expensive and the Rec Club doesn’t have a large budget,” said Hanson on how this now-annual event was advertised.  “It’s a holiday and it’s still hunting season, but this is still pretty impressive,” he said looking around at the crowd.  

Roughly $700 cash and around 500 pounds of food were raised last year and this year was even more generous with numbers still being tabulated.

Later in the morning as the volunteers and many of the runners and walkers were helping put tables and equipment away, Hanson said, “Although, at the Mineral County Turkey Trot everyone is a winner, and the trotting is not for competition, there were certainly people pushing the hardest.” 

1st-Finely Haveron. 2nd-Henry Hanson. 3rd-Sam-Haveron. 4th Lily-Jasper and 5th-Joey Kelly.

    A few serious runners were at the front of the pack for the Turkey Trot, and right behind them were the walkers-and-talkers enjoying themselves Thanksgiving morning. This is the largest fundraiser the Mineral County Food Bank is involved in with the Rec Club doing the majority of the leg work knowing that the holidays are extra busy for families in need. (Monte Turner/Mineral Independent)
    Dogs and costumes added extra fun to the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K, sponsored by the Rec Club with the Mineral County Food Bank as the recipient of all donations. (Monte Turner/Mineral Independent)

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