November 29, 2013
Weather doesn’t slow these runners down
While temperatures hovering in the low 20s and wind chills in the teens doesn’t sound like ideal running conditions, don’t tell that to the 781 hearty souls who showed up for the 15th Annual Turkey Trot 5K road race Thursday morning in front of the Cortland YMCA on Tompkins Street.
The Turkey Trot is the final stop in the YMCA six-race series that began in April. It is a race, but this event continues to be the biggest and winning the race is really not on many of the runners minds.
“The weather probably slowed down the race day registrations where we usually see up to 120 people sign up, but we did have over 700 pre-register so we will have between 700 and 800 runners,” YMCA and race director Don Kline said. “This race is really more about tradition. Many do it because they have always done it. It’s just something runner do. They feel better about their day if they go out for a run before Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re a runner you get it.
“We have families here,” he added. “We have kids with their grandparents. We’ve had four generations of families here in the past. It’s really a mix of everybody.”
“We have 12 of us here,” Homer resident Dick Penoyer said with his wife and family, plus others in the Penoyer clan ready to battle the frigid temperatures. “The whole family is here. My daughter and I are going to walk, but the other 10 are going to run. The kids have run in this for years. We have people with us who have come from Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio and even Bulgaria. It’s really more of a tradition, plus they do run some of the other races during the summer. It’s fun! Why not!! It’s tradition! We create memories so let’s go.”
“It really as become a family tradition for these guys,” Beth Penoyer, Dick’s daughter, said. “They enjoy it, but it’s my first time doing this. My mom and brother have run every year. This is very cold though, I’m from Maryland so this really is cold for me now.”
Jonathan Salibra was another first-timer and the Bulgarian has his own reasons for running the Turkey Trot.“I really didn’t decide,” Salibra chuckled. “I was asked nicely by my local family (The Penoyers) to participate. It is a chance to get together with friends and family. You can burn off a few calories before eating this afternoon. I’m looking forward to having a good time.
“The snow makes its a good experience,” he continued. “It certainly will be something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It should be fun because you won’t get too hot. Upstate New York wouldn’t be Upstate New York without some snow.”
For former Little York resident Matthew Charles and his friend Elizabeth Vaden, it was a return home from where they now live in Philadelphia, Pa.
“Liz has always done some Turkey Trots because she’s from Charlottesville and it’s a family tradition there,” Charles explained. “It was our turn to be with my family up here this year so we decided to run it here.”
“I don’t think it ever snowed during a Turkey Trot for me,” said Vaden, a Virginia native. “This will be fun though. My sisters and I always run Thanksgiving morning. It makes you feel better and you get some exercise.”
One person who loves to run his Groton Central senior Jason Jenks. Fresh off a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Association Cross Country Championship appearance Nov. 9 where he finished ninth in Class D, Jenks was ready for the 5K race Thanksgiving morning.
“I love this race,” Jenks said. “I love road races so whenever I can I try to run in them. There is the competition which I like, but it is also nice to see some many people here just having fun.”
Locke resident Bridgette Heath was another first time Turkey Trot participant.
“It just sounded like fun,” Heath said. “This is my first shorter distance race since the Empire Marathon. I really just wanted to get a 5K under my belt. It could be a little slippery, but I think it will be fine out there. I’m use to it because I am a New York State runner.”
Once outside, the race began and it took two and one-half minutes to get all the runners across the start line after the opening command was given. The runners official time didn’t not start until the just the start line and their chip was recorded by the electronic equipment, hence their chip time compared to the gun time in scoring. Runners started in front of the YMCA. The course took the runners to the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex where they turned around and headed to the finish line back at the YMCA.
Jenks said he’d like to finish no worse than second in the race and he accomplished that with an overall runner-up time of 16:50 chip time, 16:51.5 gun time.
SUNY Cortland grad student Cole Crosby was the overall winner in a time of 16:31.1 chip, 16:33.3 gun time.
The top female runner was Homer Central senior Jade Auchmoody, another NYSPHSSA competitor. Auchmoody posted a chip time of 19:59.4 and 20:03.6 gun time. She was 19th overall.
As for the others mentioned, their unofficial times were Jonathan Salibra (50th overall, 22:34), Bridgette Heath ( 157, 26:47.2, 27:07.5), Matthew Charles (234, 29:23.4, 30:14.8), Elizabeth Vaden (243, 29:42.9, 30:34.4), Bethany Penoyer (567, 50:56.5, 51.35.9), Dick Penoyer (570, 51:04.4, 51:43).
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