Fourth annual Turkey Trot raises $30,000

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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Thousands of thankful local residents gathered at the fourth annual Folsom Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. The Turkey Trot is a 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run to benefit the Twin Lakes Food Bank and the Never in Our Town youth scholarship. This year 4,100 registered participants, along with those who just made donations, raised more than $30,000. Race Director and Folsom resident Todd Drybread and Felix Poggemann, assistant race director, said as of Wednesday afternoon’s race packet pick-up, an extra 100 racers were added to accommodate this year’s growing support for the event. “That was the biggest change from last year, limiting the number of participants,” Drybread said. “We want to keep on growing, of course, but we want to keep this a family event.” Drybread’s Turkey Trot uniquely allows for dogs and takes racers on neighborhood trails behind the intersection of Blue Ravine Road and North Parkway Drive, so keeping the size of the event relative to the narrow trails is essential. “This is the fourth year and we finally have volunteers approaching us,” Drybread said. “It’s always hard to get sponsors and volunteers for these events, but this year they came to us and it’s been awesome.” According to Poggemann, Darryl Schmidt and his organization eLife, a community non-profit that provides volunteers for community events, has really taken the turkey day event to another level with its enthusiastic team. “I greeted 3,500 people yesterday that came to pick up their packets,” Schmidt said. “I shook their hands, said hello and asked them what they were grateful for. All the stories I heard is the reason we do what we do.” Drybread said that all but 322 of nearly 4,000 preregistered participants came out to the packet pickup on Wednesday at the Hawkins School of Performing Arts, off of Folsom Blvd. A few of those picking up their newly designed “Eat, Trot, Sleep” T-shirts and arriving early despite a bitter-cold Thanksgiving Day morning, was the Hardy family from Roseville. Susan Hardy, mother and Thanksgiving Day chef, stood ready for the 5K start with two of her three children, Rachel, 7, and James, 5, while her husband Mike and other son Matthew, 9, remained home. The Hardy’s have been Turkey Trotters in each of the event’s four years. “Everyone in our family loves the Turkey Trot; it’s our tradition,” said Hardy. “I prepared our dinner yesterday so we’ll get home after this and watch some TV, play some football out front and have a later lunch-dinner.” As the 10K prepared to start, Karole Prager, of Granite Bay, and her daughter Kendall, 10, awaited the chance to enjoy a few miles of running and walking with their Golden Doodle dog Daisy and dozens of other pets. “A couple of our friends are from Folsom and some are from Granite Bay, but all of us women run together as a group during the week so I brought Kendall out here to do just that today,” said Prager. “A friend of mine said she was bringing her dog so I thought that sounded fun and brought Daisy. We’ll go home and relax and maybe take in a movie later. Harry Potter just came out.” There were no wizards, but there was plenty of community magic out in Folsom on Thanksgiving morning. Volunteer driver Mike Bonham has been with the Twin Lakes Food Bank for years and continues to enjoy the focus on those in need. “This event has a big effect,” said Bonham. “As people probably know, donations are big during the holiday season, but people are hungry year-around. The money from this event often is used to augment what is missing throughout the rest of the year.” The sun made its first appearance early on Thanksgiving morning, over the Folsom hills and began warming the field that quickly filled with thousands of local residents. From there, it was off to the races and then the dinner tables.