2011 Pinedale Turkey Trot news
by Craig Sheppard
November 25, 2011
Over 154 turkey trotters woke up to a beautiful Pinedale morning. There was a 15-degree temperature with no wind and beautiful clear skies to aid the walkers, bikers and runners in seeing the great Wind River Mountains on their yearly 3-mile adventure. Just to prove how hardy these aerobic enthusiasts are, there were a lot of comments on how nice the weather was. Most places would be looking for alternate indoor venues for their Thanksgiving runs at this temperature. After last yearís 30-below wind chill I guess anything would be better. Just in case, our head timer Wyatt Sheppard, had two metal tubs of firewood burning for those who needed to warm-up a little before the race. Ellen Sheppard, in charge of the hospitality garage, had plenty of warm coffee ready for the early birds.
As usual, there were all types of exercisers participating. We had participants from age 1 to 74 years young. We had walkers, runners, run/walkers, trotters, bicycle riders and unicyclists. There were people from eight different states, twelve towns or cities in Wyoming, and we even had Takanao Tanaka from Toyohashi, Japan (now that is a first for us). There were plenty of dogs around to help pull their owners through the course. If we added the canines to our list of participants, we would have been way over 200 involved. These added guests were not totally unobserved, for Ellenís cats were on high alert inside the house.
Even though this is a fun run/walk, we would like to recognize a few individuals. 17-year old Pinedale high school senior, Aunders Hallsten was the first to cross the finish line in a time of 18:30. He was followed by Ken Konicek (21:49), Boulder resident Clayton Kainer (22:18) and Kirk Thomas from Salt Lake (22:33). What is incredible is that two of the top four finishers were 60 years old. As far as head turkey Sheppard, who is slightly older than Ken and Kirk, he did not fare so well. Nursing a pulled muscle and carrying a new camera (good reason to walk and take some pictures from inside the race), he walked and ran his annual event to a mid-pack finish.
Newcomer 8-year old Grace Harnack was the first biker to finish in a time of 23:00. She was followed by 15-year old runner Zach Andreasen (23:45). The highly contested womenís race finshed with three coming in only 26 seconds apart. Channing Winters won the womenís division with a time of 25:10, followed by Laura Winters (25:29) and Bonnie Mackey in 25:36. Farther down in the pack, young runner Kade Williams, just 10-years old, finished in a time of 28:17. He may be the new prodigy for top Turkey Runner. I believe Aunders started running this race at about the same age.
By far the biggest portion of this race is dominated by the true walkers. Once again Karen and Dan Stewart finished first in the walking division in a time of 40:12 followed by Charlette Blankenship (41:13). The smallest division is the unicycle part of our little race (I wonder why?). We had two ride their unicycles the entire course. They were David Rule (30:05) and Aaron Stewart (33:33). Those two are really true athletes for it is hard enough to balance on dry even paths no less on bumpy icy and snowy roads.
I know there are many names not mentioned in this article, but it is fun to see so many friends, families, school alumni and visitors gathering to take in the beautiful scenery and fresh air of Pinedale. Thanks go out to the Pinedale schools for use of their tables, bull horn and cones; Pinedale Half Marathon for use of their timer and also to the Pinedale newspapers, banks and Pinedale Online for advertising. I especially need to thank my family (Ellen and Wyatt) for putting up with my many passions of which one is running the Turkey Trot.
This was the 21st running of the Pinedale Turkey Trot and with all the favorable comments it seems to have developed into a great annual tradition for the Pinedale community and their Thanksgiving guests. Donít forget it is never too late to get in shape for the 22nd annual Pinedale Turkey Trot which will be held Thanksgiving morning 2012 at the Sheppardís house at 9AM. See you then!