Turkey Trot brings sees huge turnout

The first Turkey Trot was held in Wheatland Nov. 20. The 5K race was sponsored by Banner Health. Strolling in his first Turkey Trot of his life, Lucas Coplen and his mother, Michelle were getting ready for the big race.

WHEATLAND – On a pleasant late November Saturday morning with no Wyoming wind, the first Turkey Trot 5K is in the books.

Races that are run near Thanksgiving or Christmas above the frost line are usually very cold and the weather can be adverse, but in 45-degree weather Wheatland was the optimal spot to run a Saturday morning 5K.

It was the first of its kind here in Wheatland and sponsored by Banner Health.

“This our very first one and with 70 people that have come out to run, this is huge,” said Banner Health employee Jacob Lee. “The big reason for doing this is to help the community get out and be more active. I am a physical therapist at the hospital and I am passionate about being active and healthy and thought that doing something like this can help us get out, to encourage health and activity and to support one another in our community.”

Active and healthy and great weather brought out the large crowd. Some ran, some walked, some pushed strollers and some had their dogs on leashes. The racers began gathering at 9:30 to Lewis Park in Wheatland and by 10 a.m. the park was packed with both runners and fans to cheer on the large group of participants. 

For a first-time race, Banner Health had it well organized.

“For a first time, the biggest challenges were logistics,” Lee said. “Trying to find out who we wanted to be a part of what and really, just getting the excitement out to the community. This is not a chipped race. There are a number of people who might just walk around in the park. The whole purpose of this was just to get people out and be active. We have people who walked, some who went halfway and others who ran the whole distance. This is great and it was a huge success.”

The top three finishers for the race were Nathanial Yeadon, Gavin May and Simon May.

“We had three turkeys purchased by Banner to give away, two pies from the Wild Whisk, and two gift certificates from the Pie Tin,” Lee said. “Banner sponsored it and I headed it up. I went to the guys at the beginning and asked if we could do this, and they said it would be a lot of fun, so we did it.”

Lee said that he was expecting maybe 20 people and was surprised to see such an impressive turnout.

Banner had hot chocolate, water and bananas out at the start and at the halfway point of the race they also had water and bananas. At the conclusion, the drawing for the turkeys, pies and certificates were held.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” Lee said. “No wind and great running weather. This is awesome.”

Apple pies from the Wild Whisk went to Simon May and Josefina Testini, the gift certificates from the Pie Tin went to Brycen Lopez and Judy Broeder and the turkeys from Platte Memorial Hospital went to Lola Philo, Laura Stevenson and Nancy Taylor.

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