Farmington's Turkey Trot is tradition for some
A total of 176 people participated in this year's Turkey Trot and Gobble Wobble
FARMINGTON — Runners and walkers donned hats and gloves to brave the chilly temperatures at they participated in the annual Turkey Trot 5K and Gobble Wobble 2-mile walk this morning.
The event, hosted by the city of Farmington's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department, started and ended at Orchard Park. The event also offered children’s carnival games, face painting, live music and food.
A total of 176 people — fewer than last year — participated in this year's event, said Leslie Mueller, manager of the Farmington Recreation Center.
"I think (the decrease in participants) is probably more to do with the economy and with people who used to participate having moved away, than with the cold weather," she said.
The city has hosted the event since 2011. Proceeds from this year's race benefited Special Olympics.
Michelle Herrera, Michelle Klaus, Beverly Henry and Betty Teigs, all educators at a local Presbyterian Medical Services Head Start center, dressed for the Gobble Wobble in turkey hats and feet, as well as tutus.
"We’ve been doing a lot of these walks," Herrera said. "This is our crew, and we like to dress up and have fun."
Klaus agreed the costumes were a draw.
"It’s another reason to dress up other than at Halloween," she said. "And it’s also fun and healthy."
Before the race, runner Candice Clark said she participates in many runs in the city. But, she said, the Turkey Trot's route up the hill on Airport Drive had her a little nervous.
"I think this year will be harder," she said. "But it’s good to see things that bring us all together."
Many people made the event a family affair. Rebecca Raichel, a veterinarian at the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter, came to the event with her husband and three son, including 5-year-old Ezekiel.
"We thought it would be a good family event," she said. "Now that summer’s over, we’re looking for things to get out and do together."
Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts and his wife, Cindy, showed up to walk the Gobble Wobble.
"This is a nice tradition, with people in Farmington showing up every year to do it," Roberts said. "And I think it’s a tradition we need to maintain."
There were also serious runners who competed in the 5K. Those who finished first, second and third place in the male and female categories received gift certificates to Southwest Runners, and the overall male and female fastest runners received gift certificates for turkey dinners.
Finishing first in the male category was 16-year-old Adriel Eaton, who ran the 5K in a little more than 19 minutes. The former Piedra Vista cross-country runner said he’s been preparing for the run.
"I just kept practicing and practicing," he said. "I want to be a professional runner or a Major League Baseball player someday."
His mother, Mona Eaton, said the event has been a family tradition for years.
"We’ve all been coming since the kids were young," she said. "We run every year. We enroll all of our kids, and it’s something we do as a family."
Shontee Benally, a 27-year-old teacher and mother of two, won first in the female category, finishing the 5K in a little more than 23 minutes.
"It feels really good," said Benally, who also runs half-marathons. "The race was a challenge before, but this year was easier because I’m in better shape. I like local races because they’re not too flat and have some challenging hills. And at the end, it’s fun to have people there cheering. It’s exciting."
In the women's category Adreanna Eaton finished second and Brenda Brown was third. In the men's group, Sebastian Hogue finished second and Solomon Johnson was third.
Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.