The Wichitan

About 100 participate in Turkey Trot

Patrick German

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Caleb Hannon, assistant director of rec sports and Wellness center, sounds off for participants to begin running in the Turkey Trot 5K around Sikes Lake Nov. 17. The entry fee was one canned food item. Winners won a frozen turkey. Photo by Francisco Martinez

Caleb Hannon, assistant director of rec sports and Wellness center, sounds off for participants to begin running in the Turkey Trot 5K around Sikes Lake Nov. 17. The entry fee was one canned food item. Winners won a frozen turkey. Photo by Francisco Martinez

The runners, most of them at least, didn’t seem to be serious. Maybe they were at Sikes Lake for the T-shirt. Maybe they were there to win a turkey. Or maybe they were just there to get some exercise walking or jogging the 1.1-mile trail — twice.

But most of the 100 or so people who participated in the 15th annual 5K Turkey Trot Nov. 17 said they had one thing in common: they had fun.

Leya Archer, nursing junior, said, “This was my first time coming to the Turkey Trot, and I loved it. I got to meet a lot of new and interesting people and I’m a competitive runner. I will come back next year, for sure.”

Sponsored by the division of recreational sports, 102 people signed up for the event, which brought in more than 40 pounds of canned food for a local food bank.

Joey Greenwood, director of recreational sports and the Wellness Center, said, “With Thanksgiving a week away and cold weather looming, students are less likely to go outside and exercise in cold weather, so this gives them an opportunity to do so now.”

Andrew Sotelo, math senior, said, “It feels really good considering I used to run cross country and I never won a race, but it’s pretty awesome. I’m not going to lie: the turkey was my motivation. The prizes were two 20 pound turkeys for the first place male and female winners of the race.

Not only is it about staying in shape, but it’s actually about having fun. The organizers placed a big inflatable turkey in the center of the lake around which participants ran.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to be physically active, as well as being able to come out and give back to the community and by donating their time to get to know their community,” Caleb Hannon, assistant director of recreational sports, said.

The first 100 participants to finish the race received a T-shirt that cost $865 to be produced.

“I actually wasn’t really interested in doing it, but my friend and I wanted the free T-shirt, so we decided to do it. Hobson said. “This win is nothing new for me, since I do cross country and track, but it feels good to come out here and run.”

Riley Johnson, sophomore mechanical engineer, said, “The T-shirts that we received were sick. I kind of only do these things for T-shirts, so when there are T-shirts available, I am there.”

Residence Hall Association members received the canned food required for participation, helped distribute the shirts and also made sure that the participants signed in.

Frank Cruz, marketing junior and president of RHA, said, “We’re doing this can food drive for the food bank, we have people from the community, as well as the school, running this 5K race and donating cans to the less fortunate.”

The dozens of cans of food collected from participants will be given to a local food bank.

The winners of the 2015 Turkey Trot were: Brandi Hobson, kinesiology junior, who finished in 16 minutes and 48 seconds, and Sotelo, who finished in 12 minutes and 52 seconds.

“I love the fact that people are so generous. We really didn’t expect people to give that many, but we’ve had a group of people today bring in multiple bags of cans,” Hannon said.

HISTORY

The Wellness Center started using the trail around Sikes Lake for the Turkey Trot four years ago.

“The purpose of moving it to Sikes Lake is that we don’t want any student getting run over by a car or create an accident by having another car lose control by the student running out in front of them,” Greenwood said.

According to Hannon, since 2000, the Turkey Trot has been a huge success. They have averaged more than 105 people per year at the events.

“I would say that 2012 was our best one. By participation, we had over 160 runners at the event, and we had over 85 pounds of cans, also,” Hannon said.

According to Greenwood, this was the sixth consecutive year they have had more than 100 runners participate.

“Anytime we can have over 100 people at these types of events. I would say that it’s a success,” Greenwood said.

Social media has been a big factor on making the turkey trot a success.

“I would say, our first 10 Turkey Trots were pretty difficult,” Greenwood said. “It wasn’t easy spreading the information about this event. But, now you have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and group emailing. So, this makes it a lot easier on the marketing side of things.”

 

 

 

 

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About 100 participate in Turkey Trot