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Turkey Trot reaches record numbers in Durango

Nearly 750 people start the holiday with a run at FLC
Runners start the Durango Turkey Trot on Thursday at Fort Lewis College. About 750 people participated in this year’s 5-mile race and the 1-mile fun run. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Turkey Trot in Durango has been consistently growing over the years.

On Thursday, just under 550 runners ran in the annual 5-mile race. Another 200 then ran in the 1-mile fun run, making it the city’s biggest Turkey Trot ever, with nearly 750 runners.

“We want it to be a truly community event,” said organizer Matthew Krichman, noting that the fun run is free.

“It’s a tradition,” Krichman continued. “It’s been going on for over 30 years. It’s the same course every year, and it’s a beautiful course. It’s also the only day of the year you can run on the road that goes across the reservoir. It’s gated the other 364 days, so it’s kind of unique to run that.”

John Chambers, who was born and raised in Durango, was going to participate in the fun run with his 7-year-old son, Enzo, for the first time this year.

“His mom (Kellie Thompson) does the 5-mile every year, and he’s old enough now,” Chambers said. “I think it’s great. It’s the perfect way to kick off the day and definitely work up your appetite.”

Krichman said they market the event as a way to come burn your calories before eating a big Thanksgiving dinner.

Ricky King is congratulated as he finishes the Durango Turkey Trot 5-mile race on Thursday at Fort Lewis College. About 750 people participated in this year’s 5-mile race and the 1-mile fun run. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Competitors in the 5-mile race certainly burned off a ton of calories. Wayde Hall and Chris Thompson sprinted together at the finish line, but Hall ended up winning the race in 25 minutes and 54 seconds, averaging 5:11 per mile. Thompson crossed second in 25:57.

“I pulled away at about mile 2½, then on the hill before the golf course around mile 3½, I pulled off to the side and started throwing up and got passed,” Hall said.

“This is my chance,” Thompson said he thought when seeing Hall off to the side.

Thompson, however, ended up helping Hall finish strong.

“With 400 meters to go, he started yelling at me to get up with him,” Hall said. “I knew I had a good kick and I was able to finish it. I passed him at the end, but he was huge for me, getting me back up front. It was really encouraging. Especially in a race like a turkey trot, you should be helping each other out.”

Hall ran for Colorado State University in Fort Collins and moved to Durango in June to work at a rafting company and has since started helping with Durango’s high school team. A large group of Demons also ran in the Turkey Trot, including the first-place female, Willow Lott.

“I love it,” Hall said. “They’ve been huge getting me in shape and keeping me accountable.”

Jonathon Roberts finished third in the 5-mile race in 26:52 while Fort Lewis College mountain biker Carson Beard (27:02) took fourth. Ian Huang crossed fifth in 27:12, followed by Jeffrey Hofferber (27:30), Colorado Trail Race winner Will Bodewes (27:37) and all-state DHS runner Luke Swenk (28:17), Amando Imbody (28:18) and Graeme McCallum (28:23) in 10th.

Lott, meanwhile, was the first female to cross in 28:25, averaging 5:41 per mile. Lott then turned around and ran in the fun run. Lott represented Team USA in the junior division at the world mountain running championships recently in Thailand.

Maggie Yount finished six seconds after Lott to cross second in 28:31, followed by Zia Fadil (30:38), Robyn Lesh (30:48), Regina Curry (31:21), Shannon Maloney (31:46), Cate Fenster (33:56), Molly Hummel (34:11), all-state DHS runner Nina Quayle (35:08) and Virgina Hofferner (35:27) in 10th.

Age group winners included N. Foutz (35:11; male 12 and under), Z. Fadil (30:39; girls 12 and under), Swenk (male 13-17), Quayle (female 13-17), Hall (male 18-29), Lott (female 18-29), Jonathon Roberts (26:52; male 30-39), Yount (female 30-39), Huang (male 40-49), Curry (female 40-49), McCallum (male 50-59), Cate Fenster (33:57; female 50-59), Paul Hughes (31:07; male 60-69), Linda Maize (41:49; female 60-69), Dennis Duncan (46:17; male 70+) and Martha Iverson (53:41; female 70+).

Complete results are at https://bit.ly/3tZcBIk.

The Turkey Trot was presented by Animas Surgical Hospital. The race’s proceeds go to local charities.

Wayde Hall of Durango wins the Durango Turkey Trot 5-mile race on Thursday at Fort Lewis College. About 750 people participated in this years 5-mile race and the 1-mile fun run. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Willow Lott of Durango wins the women’s Durango Turkey Trot 5-mile race on Thursday at Fort Lewis College. About 750 people participated in this year’s 5-mile race and the 1-mile fun run. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)