More than 50 participants gathered at the Grand Island Ball Park Saturday, to take part in the 27th Annual Turkey Trot 5k hosted by Dr. Robert Novak with Havasu Foot and Ankle Surgi-Center in Lake Havasu City. Every year, the event raises funds for scholarships.
“I think this event is amazing,” said Alexis Dintelman, with Aquatics and Recreation. “We are always willing to work hard and help out at the 5k or any event if it involves helping out our youth programs.”
The two-mile run drew crowds from children to adults. Participants, young and old, ran or walked and competed for the chance to win a trophy in their age category.
In the men’s category, Rhett Burgener placed first with a total running time of 18 minutes and 30 seconds. In the women’s category, Adrianna Sloma took first with a running time of 19 minutes and 24 seconds.
“I never ran in this event before,” said Sloma. “I paced myself and made sure to keep my sight on the runner ahead of me.”
Norma King, 88, of Lake Havasu, has been participating in the annual 5k for 17 years and says she enjoys the event because it benefits the community.
“I’m always for helping the schools, and youth programs. I also love getting out to walk. It gives me so much energy.”
Despite supporting a great cause, others participated for a great workout.
“It was really fun,” said Tayna Smith who was the youngest runner at age 9. “I sure got some exercise!”
The first Turkey Trot began back in 1988, when Novak saw a need for a 5k race in town. “I always wanted a race here in Havasu,” said Novak. It first began as a 10k, then I changed it to a 5k so that more people could participate.”
Since then, he has kept the event going over the years and continues to raise funds for the Parks and Recreation Scholarship Fund, which allows disadvantaged families to place their children in after-school programs.
“This is one of the longest ongoing events in Lake Havasu that 100 percent of the proceeds benefit youth scholarships,” said Swan Cooke, the Aquatic Center Supervisor. It also promotes health and wellness.”
At the end of the race, both winners went home with a free turkey and some bragging rights.