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COLUMN

Turkey Trot kicks off a thankful week

FWTC event at Fox Island is a time to give thanks

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 2:17 am

What better way for runners to kick-off Thanksgiving week than by recognizing and celebrating all that we have to be thankful for? This Saturday's Fort Wayne Track Club Turkey Trot 5K at Fox Island County Park is the perfect way to start Thanksgiving week.

The race begins at 10 a.m. this year, an hour earlier than normal, thanks to a decision by new race director Michael Yann.

“I moved it up so that runners and their families could enjoy the race and than get a head-start on spending the day with family,” Yann said.

But don't be confused: as with all Thanksgiving celebrations, family is welcome.

“We will have the Turkey Toddlers race for little joggers at 10:45 a.m.,” Yann said. “We even have trophies for the kids.”

The toddler's race is primarily for pre-school kids although all ages are welcome. It is a run of about 100 meters and finishes with quite the fan-fare: the entire field of Turkey Trot runners are on hand to cheer.

The Turkey Trot is a trail race over finely-groomed running paths. The race begins on the Fox Island road and goes several hundred meters before entering the trail. It gives the runners time to spread out. Even then, the trails are wide enough for several runners.

“The trails are great for a first-time trail runners,” Yann said. “It shouldn't scare away runners who have never run on trails. The course is clearly marked and it's a beautiful setting.”

The setting is clearly beautiful. Fox Island is an Allen County park with several hundred acres of nature preserve including a lake. The is only one short hill.

The finish is clearly representative of Thanksgiving. Runners are treated to coffee, soda pop, sports drink, donuts, fruit and cookies. Age division winners (12 for male and females each) win holiday pies (pumpkin, fruit, etc.). The overall winners (male and female) and master's winners (age 40 and over) win turkeys: Toms for the males and Hens for the females.

The whole experience is very much like Thanksgiving.

“The Fort Wayne Track Club wants to help the running community celebrate Thanksgiving,” Yann said. “It's a great way to spend time together.”

Turkey time

What: FWTC Turkey Trot

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

Where: Fox Island County Park

Details: Race entry covers park fees. On-line registration thru Friday at www.fwtc.org is $13 for FWTC members and $15 for non-members. Race-day registration is $18 for members and $20 for non-members. There are no t-shirts provided but there will be cotton running gloves. Age division awards in 12 male and 12 female age divisions.

More information: Email michael.yann@yahoo.com.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Brett Hess at nssports@news-sentinel.com .