Turkey Day 5k draws eclectic field from families to pros
The entry fee is still a mere $5, but the experience for those who participate is priceless.The 20th annual Turkey Day 5K Run/Walk once again takes place at the Glenwood Springs Golf Course in West Glenwood on Thanksgiving morning. Anticipation for this event builds in local running circles throughout the year until the starting gun fires at 10 a.m.”The race helps kick off the holiday and community spirit. It’s also the best post-race party in the valley. That’s why I wear a tuxedo, because you dress up for the best social event,” said longtime runner and winner of the inaugural race Bob Willey.The race started back in 1986 when a couple of running buddies decided to map out a 5K loop on the local golf course and convinced 17 other hardy souls to run it. Now, the race draws more than 200 runners, walkers and socialites of all types. Don’t be fooled, though, by the family atmosphere – this race also attracts many of the top runners on the Western Slope, including Bernie Boettcher, who came across the line first in last year’s race after many near misses.”The beauty of this race is it’s very family oriented, yet we also have one of the most competitive fields on the Western Slope each year,” said race director Jim Richmond.The true cross country nature of the event gives participants a trail running feel while navigating the undulating fairways on “The Hill.” Many get swept away with the scenery and camaraderie of the day, while others try to shave seconds off last year’s clocking.The Turkey Day 5K has become “the race” in the valley for many, including Jack Green and Paul Driskill, who have participated every year without fail. It is also a reunion of sorts for college students home for the holidays, families reunited, and old friends just wanting to catch up with what’s going on.A warning for those who may want to leave the post race festivities early: You will miss out on the annual “Holiday Blessing,” given by Jack Green and Bob “Brother” Willey from the roof of the golf course maintenance building. It usually takes place around 1 p.m. and is well worth the wait.So put the turkey in to roast, bring your family to the golf course, and be a part of Glenwood’s Thanksgiving Day tradition. Registration begins at 9 a.m. in the clubhouse. The race is a benefit for the Carbondale Community School.
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