By Alexandra Baxter, Staff Writer

Turkey Trot participant Autumn Greenleaf. (photo by Gia Pilgrim)

Turkey Trot participant Autumn Greenleaf. (photo by Gia Pilgrim)

The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) Fitness and Recreation Center (FRC) will be hosting the seventh-annual Turkey Trot run on Saturday, November 22. It is an all ages road race which is open to the public, and includes a Kid’s Fun Run, a 5K, and the newly added 10K. The goal of the event is to bring the community together and promote health.

“The purpose of the event is to encourage healthy active lifestyles and to provide an opportunity for recreation,” said Leah Brackett, Head of Intramural Sports, Children’s Programs, and Front Desk Operations at the FRC.

The run is a chance to bring community members of all ages together. “We really try to get everyone involved, from local businesses to kids running in the race,” said Abby Burdin, a junior who is helping out with event promotions.

The Turkey Trot has become a well-known event in Farmington, last year the race brought in 230 participants. Prizes are awarded to the top male and female from each category (separated into age divisions). In past years, the top finishers have been awarded with pies and turkeys, donated by the UMF Dining Services and the UMF Wellness Committee.

Many participants have been training for the event for some time already. “I just began the sixth week of training today,” said Autumn Greenleaf, who graduated from UMF last spring and is planning to participate in the race. “I didn’t have a membership at the gym anymore and wanted to stay active.”

The race has become a way to, bring the local and UMF communities together, to have a great time and to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. “The best part about the event is having everyone work together to make this a fun, entertaining event,” said Burdin.

The Turkey Trot is an enjoyable way to do something challenging. “I think the best part is the progress,” said Greenleaf. She admits to struggling at the beginning of her training. “Now eight minutes feels like a breeze. Well, mostly,” said Greenleaf. “It keeps me motivated to keep going.”

The UMF Men’s Basketball team will  also be hosting a clinic for the children who participate in the Kid’s Fun Run. “The team will run with the children in the fun run and then walk to Dearborn where they will spend a few hours working on basketball skills,” said Brackett. “The clinic is for children grades K-8.”

The FRC has experience organizing events. “The FRC hosted the Hilda Barstow Memorial Run, which was held in October and raised money for a scholarship fund in Mrs. Barstow’s name,” said Brackett.

The cost to participate in the race varies depending on which run individuals register for. Registration forms can be found at the FRC, or by visiting http://www2.umf.maine.edu/frc/annual-events/turkey-trot-5k-road-race/.