Runners braved the cold — temperatures were in the 20s but it felt like the teens with the wind chill factor — to participate in the Fourth Annual Turkey Trot Road Race on Thanksgiving morning. Newtown’s Zach Schwartz earned first place by completing the hilly course in a time of 15:50.70.
“It feels good — it was a lot colder than last year,” said Schwartz, explaining that he came into the race expecting his time to take a hit from the cold. Schwartz was still plenty fast enough to lead the pack.
“Ultimately that’s what got to me,” said second-place finisher Kevin Hoyt, who completed the course in a time of 15:58.92.
Rounding out the top five were: 3. Mitchell Russo, 16:45.84; 4. Christopher Gamble, 18:02.47; and 5. Vincent Pistritto, 18:18.33. The top female was Jocelyn Stark, who placed 22nd in a time of 20:46.04.
The course started at Hawley Elementary School, and included a downhill stretch on Main Street past the flagpole, and the finish at Newtown Middle School. A steep hill on Schoolhouse Road at the start of the course and another long hill on Grand Place at the end of the course made the competitors earn their stuffing — along with everything else on the table for their traditional feasts — by running the 3.1-mile course.
“That’s the great thing about running — you lose one pound during the race and put on five after,” Newtown’s Mike Brokaw joked after participating along with a handful of family members.
The top finishers — including age category winners — took home trophies and large pumpkin pies during an awards ceremony.
Proceeds from the 5K run through town benefit the Cyrenius H Booth Library. Results may be found at thelastmileracing.com.
Runners talked about their favorite and toughest aspects of the race, as well as the part of their turkey day dinner they were most looking forward to after their exercise:
Favorite: “The end because it’s down hill.”
Toughest: “That hill near the end.” (Grand Place.)
Food: “The dessert."
Favorite: “The hill coming down Main Street.”
Toughest: “Grand Place.”
Food: “As much as I love Thanksgiving dinner, I love the ‘leftover sandwich’ with all of the leftover food in it”
Favorite: “Running down Main Street.”
Toughest: “Keeping up in the loop.”
Food: “Mashed potatoes.”
Favorite: “After getting up a hill.”
Toughest: “Turning the corners.”
Food: “Pumpkin cookies.”
Favorite: “Probably the downhill down Main Street.”
Toughest: “Going up the hill on Main Street.”
Food: Coconut custard pie.
*John Pierz (one of the runners dressed in a turkey costume)
Favorite: “The cheers and smiles. … More people root for the turkey than John,” he said with a laugh.
Toughest: “The hardest part is obviously the Schoolhouse hill.”
Food: “Turkey and stuffing.”