WOLFEBORO -- Nearly 200 walkers and runners of all ages kicked off the holiday season by exercising for a good cause on Saturday during the 22nd annual Turkey Trot Run for Food and Gift of Sight and Hearing fundraisers.
The event, co-sponsored by the Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Department and Wolfeboro Lions Club, includes three races, a 5k run, a 5k walk, and a 2k kid's run.
Traditionally held on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, the race raises money through entry fees and raffle tickets for the Lions Club Gift of Sight and Hearing fund, and through donations of canned foods, helps fill the shelves at local food pantries.
Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Department Director Ethan Hipple said the race, which is the fifth and last of a series of recreation department-hosted races organized to benefit food pantries, has become a popular community event. He said the timing is ideal, with many local college students home for the holiday and many regular walkers and runners and first timers alike come out every year.
Jim Stevens and his wife, Chris Stevens, of Wolfeboro, turned up to participate for the first time. Jim, 71, a runner/swimmer and biker who competes in triathlons, came out to run for a good cause. The Stevens' relocated to Wolfeboro from Connecticut after retiring several years ago.
"There is so much to do here, year round," said Jim Stevens. "We love the lifestyle and the people."
All race divisions started and ended at the Railroad Depot on Railroad Avenue in downtown Wolfeboro, with the Greater Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce office and front porch serving as race headquarters.
Each participant brought two canned goods to donate for the "Run For Food Series" – this was the last of five races held to fill the shelves at local food pantries. Members of the Wolfeboro Lions Club, including a group of school-aged volunteers with the "Leos" category of Lions Club members, sold T-shirts and raffle tickets for prizes, including frozen turkeys, cash, and even a live turkey.
The top three runner/walkers are listed as follows: In the 5,000-meter walk race: Kim Kelliher, (36:54), Dave Denby (38.32) and Peter Smith, (40:11), all of Wolfeboro.
The top four runners in the mixed 5,000-meter run were: Hunter Miller (17:55); Geoffrey Terragni (18:09), Mark Richardson (18:48), and Kurt Richardson (18:54), all from Wolfeboro.
In the kids (under 12) division, the top four runners in the 2,000-meter run were: Anya Found, (6:48) of Wolfeboro, Mitchell Coope (6:57) of Wolfeboro, Cutlas Greeley of Alton (7:01), and Brent Coope (7:10) of Wolfeboro.
For results, go to wolfeboronh.us/Pages/WolfeboroNH_Recreation/raceresults.