By Courtney Jacques, Contributing Writer
UMF and the Fitness and Recreation Center are holding their ninth-annual Turkey Trot Saturday, November 19th appealing to people of all ages and is open to students and the community. The race includes a kids’ 1 mile Fun Run, a 5k, and a recently added 10K for more elite runners.
“It’s an event that brings the community and UMF together. It’s also a family event, and just a way to bring people together,” said Leah Brackett, coordinator of the Turkey Trot, Head of Intramural Sports, Children’s Programs, and Front Desk Operations at the FRC.
The event encourages people of all ages to attend, and accommodates well to the attendees. “We have a really nice facility to start and end the race, a nice space to congregate before and after, and also offer child care,” said Brackett.
Top runners are awarded various prizes, such as a t-shirt, and in previous years a pie and turkey, according to Brackett, whose enjoyment of directing this event was evident on her face as she couldn’t hold back her contagious smile while highlighting the previous success of the Turkey Trot.
The race started here ten years ago as a different run in honor of the Hilda Barstow Memorial Scholarship Fund, according to Brackett. It didn’t have much participation, with only around 15 people. Ryan Wagner, UMF cross country coach at the time, came up with the idea of a Turkey Trot, explained Brackett. “The Hilda Barstow race had 15 people, and we had around 150 people the first year we had it,” said Brackett adding that this year, “The goal is 300 people.”
Participants have increased steadily, with 250 this upcoming year. The race is well known in Farmington with flyers posted around campus and the community.
UMF student Amanda Swart will be running in the upcoming race. “I haven’t run in the race before, but wanted to because I’m trying to get in shape and it seems like a great way to add to what I’m already doing,” said Swart. “The turkey trot is unique because it’s right here in Farmington and it is really easy to sign up and for college students to participate in.”
Swart will be running alongside her roommate Danielle Cote, a junior at UMF. “I’m looking forward to being able to say I completed a race and having fun running with my roommate,” said Swart.
“I found out about it last year when a friend did it and I thought I would give it a try,” said Cote. “It seems like a fun experience and it’s something healthy to do.”
Both Swart and Cote are looking forward to running their first Turkey Trot and completing it alongside friends. They will be joining many other runners come Saturday, November 19th to complete their trot around Farmington.