Caitlin Row

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November 29, 2012
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GJ Turkey Trot 5K raises thousands of dollars for charity

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Final numbers are in for Thanksgiving's sixth annual GJ Turkey Trot 5K with some pleasing results - 1,088 folks registered to run the 3.1-mile course through Connected Lakes State Park and on the Colorado River Trail, an increase over last year.

"We were able to raise just over $30,000 dollars this year, which is also more than last year," event organizer Jason Whitesides said. " ... We're ecstatic about that."

In 2011, the GJ Turkey Trot raised approximately $12,000. It's goal for 2012 was $18,000.

Money collected will go to three organizations - the Colorado Professional Firefighter Foundation, Toys for Tots, and the Grand Junction Firefighter Foundation.

With the run continuously growing over the years, organizers are also looking to expand the event even further. One way to do this would be to find a new running route to accommodate more participants.

"We are looking at the possibility of the downtown area as a venue," Whitesides, who's also a Grand Junction firefighter, said.

Prizes were additionally given to the top three runners in both men's and women's categories. Winning male participants included: Brian Tabb (16:33), Marty Wacker (16:58), and Seth Hejny (17:05). Winning women included: Brandi Krieg (18:27), Esmeralda Martinez-Ramos (19:11), and Nicole Crawford (20:15).

"We're looking forward to do it again next year," Whitesides said. "We had lots of positive comments this year. We're definitely doing the pancake feed again next year, and we're always aiming to be bigger and better. Thank you to all our sponsors!"

For more information about the GJ Turkey Trot, visit

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The Post Independent Updated Nov 29, 2012 03:33PM Published Nov 29, 2012 03:26PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.