Carly Reimer pins a bib on her son Gus Reimer, 4, for the 1-mile run at the Turkey Trot run held at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Carly Reimer pins a bib on her son Gus Reimer, 4, for the 1-mile run at the Turkey Trot run held at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Runners work up an appetite at Turkey Trot fundraiser

One piece of pumpkin pie has about 350 calories in it. The runners at the revived Soldotna Turkey Trot race earned at least that on Thanksgiving Day.

There were a lot of red faces and hands at the finish line of the community race, which included both one-mile and five-kilometer courses. Temperatures at the 10 a.m. start had barely warmed from their overnight lows around 10 to 15 degrees, but dozens of racers weren’t deterred. With an array of down jackets, snow skirts and gloves, they took off for a brisk run before Thanksgiving dinner.

Altogether, about 150 runners turned out for the morning race, a Soldotna-ized version of a national community standard. Turkey Trots are one of the most popular fun run events in the country, with more than 250 organized through activity website Active.com alone.

The central Kenai Peninsula has had its own Turkey Trot before, but not for several years, said organizer Kurt Strausbaugh. He and his wife, Tammy, decided to pick up the race planning this year. They also organize the Moose River Hustle together, which raises money for the Meals on Wheels program.

“It’s a team effort,” he said.

They focused on including children, he said. Just before the runners took off, he addressed the group to explain the course and to put in a plug for next year’s race. They’re already planning for it to be an annual fundraiser for Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women.

Jennifer Waller, the founder of Freedom House, said the organizers approached her initially back in May with the idea for the Turkey Trot as a fundraiser for Freedom House. The proceeds went to benefit the nonprofit, which runs a faith-based program for women recovering from addiction, and many people gave more Thursday beyond just the race signup fee, Waller said. Turnout was more than she expected, too.

“We were hoping for 50, and 150 runners later …,” she said.

Parents with their kids gathered in the lobby of the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday morning to bundle up and sign up for the race. Gathered before the doors was a group of four women, equally bundled, calling themselves the “Senior Strutters.” Mary Bodnar, Mary Armstrong, Forrest Nelson and Margie McCord all planned to walk the 5K race together. They didn’t say how old they each were, but chimed in, “Together we’re more than 200 years old.”

The course was simple, tracing the Unity Path alongside Kalifornsky Beach Road, with the 5K course extending out to Gaswell Road. The first runner returned from the one-mile course in just over 8 minutes.

Not far behind him was Ernest Umarwadia, who came all the way from Houston, Texas, to win the race. Not that he came up to Alaska specifically to run the Turkey Trot — he came to visit the area while considering whether to take a job in Kenai — but he took the opportunity to jump into the race.

Though Houston is pretty warm compared to Kenai, he’s no stranger to running in cold weather, after growing up and running in Gurnee, Illinois, one of the northern suburbs of Chicago.

“I came to the Kenai Peninsula to explore a job opportunity and living here,” he said. “In just a few days I’ve got to meet the community and do one of my favorite activities — racing. This area is fantastic!”

Turkey Trot

Thursday

One mile: 1. Trent Waller, 8 minutes, 56 seconds; 2. Corbyn Crisp, 9:11; 3. Carl Kincaid, 9:12; 4. Brian Powell, 9:15; 5. Keziah Simons, 10:24; 6. Charlie Simons, 10:25; 7. Nathan Powell, 11:14; 8. Kelli Stroh, 11:28; 9. Avery Powell, 11:35; 10. Laurie Lingafelt, 11:54; 11. Jared Lingafelt, 11:54; 12. Gus Reimer, 12:17; 13. Adam Reimer, 12:18; 14. Katie Kilfoyle, 12:25; 15. Keira Stroh, 12:34; 16. Nathan Nelson, 13:55; 17. Angie Nelson, 13:58; 18. Troy Dixon, 20:55; 19. Barbra Walters, 22:21; 20. Jeni Nusbaum, 22:55; 21. Nikki Dixon, 22:57; 22. David Nusbaum, 23:02; 23. Boaz Nusbaum, 23:04; 24. Hunter Nusbaum, 23:06; 25. Chase Dixon, 24:21; 26. Kyle McNally, 24:22.

Five kilometers: 1. Ernest Umarwadia, 20:55; 2. Bill Wood, 21:02; 3. Jeff McDonald, 21:35; 4. Courtney Stroh, 21:45; 5. Tyler Tames, 22:12; 6. Sean Goff, 22:35; 7. Megan Anderson, 23:31; 8. Becca Hitchcock, 23:35; 9. Rustin Hitchcock, 23:54; 10. Patrick Metzger, 24:09; 11. Jacob Strausbaugh, 25:27; 12. Jamie Nelson, 25:31; 13. Carly Reimer, 25:41; 14. Sarah Pribbenow, 25:53; 15. Elizabeth Hardie, 27:15; 16. Sara Bundy, 28:24; 17. Angie Brennan, 28:46; 18. Morgan Aldridge, 28:47; 19. Jeff Helminiak, 28:55; 20. Reid Johnson, 29:29; 21. Kenny Bures, 30:18; 22. Maribeth Murray, 30:18; 23. Kat Sorensen, 31:13; 24. Alysa Frothingham, 31:57; 25. Rachel Sauter, 32:43.

26. Marly Perschbacher, 32:45; 27. Jeff Perschbacher, 32:45; 28. Katie Mae Tallent, 33:17; 29. Copper Booth, 33:17; 30. Madison McDonald, 33:35; 31. Julie English, 33:40; 32. Heather Huff, 33:41; 33. Emelian Reutov, 33:42; 34. Shelby King, 34:45; 35. Kari Torres, 34:45; 36. Maria Sweppy, 34:50; 37. Dana McDonald, 38:37; 38. Audrey McDonald, 38:38; 39. Kelly Baber, 38:38; 40. Kate Swaby, 39:44; 41. Maryjane Hadaway, 40:54; 42. Mary Bodnas, 45:23; 43. Natasha Reutov, 45:54; 44. Margie McCord, 50:24; 45. Elaine Woodburn, 51:20; 46. Chris Arbelovsky, 52:48; 47. Ryan Queen, 52:48; 48. Tom Kobylarz, 52:49; 49. Teagan Kobylarz, 52:49; 50. Larissa Arbelovsky, 52:50.

51. Garrett Queen, 52:50; 52. Irene Houdek, 53:45; 53. Jacqueline Smith, 53:45; 54. Forrest Nelson, 55:16; 55. Mary Starrs Armstrong, 55:17.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.

Runners sign up for the Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The proceeds from the run were donated to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiciton. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Runners sign up for the Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The proceeds from the run were donated to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiciton. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Margie McCord, Forrst Nelson, Mary Armstrong and Mary Bodnar pose for a photo before the Turkey Trot community run at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The group, calling themselves the “Senior Strutters,” walked the 5K race together in the 20-degree weather Thanksgiving morning. The proceeds from the race were donated to the Soldotna nonprofit Freedom House, a sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Margie McCord, Forrst Nelson, Mary Armstrong and Mary Bodnar pose for a photo before the Turkey Trot community run at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The group, calling themselves the “Senior Strutters,” walked the 5K race together in the 20-degree weather Thanksgiving morning. The proceeds from the race were donated to the Soldotna nonprofit Freedom House, a sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

makes his way through the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex’s parking lot to win the 1-mile race of the Turkey Trot run Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The event also included a 5K run and donated the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion) makes his way through the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex’s parking lot to win the 1-mile race of the Turkey Trot run Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The event also included a 5K run and donated the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

makes his way through the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex’s parking lot to win the 1-mile race of the Turkey Trot run Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The event also included a 5K run and donated the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion) makes his way through the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex’s parking lot to win the 1-mile race of the Turkey Trot run Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The event also included a 5K run and donated the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Adam Reimer and his son Gus Reimer, 4, finish the 1-mile Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The organizers of the event, which also included a 5K race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Adam Reimer and his son Gus Reimer, 4, finish the 1-mile Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The organizers of the event, which also included a 5K race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Nathan Nelson, 4, makes a final sprint to the finish of the 1-mile Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The organizers of the event, which also included a 5K race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna-based nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Nathan Nelson, 4, makes a final sprint to the finish of the 1-mile Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The organizers of the event, which also included a 5K race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna-based nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Ernest Umarwadia (left), of Houston, Texas, crosses the finish line to win the 5K Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The organizers of the event, which also included a 1-mile race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna-based nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Ernest Umarwadia (left), of Houston, Texas, crosses the finish line to win the 5K Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. The organizers of the event, which also included a 1-mile race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna-based nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Carly Reimer pins a bib on her son Gus Reimer, 4, for the 1-mile run at the Turkey Trot run held at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Carly Reimer pins a bib on her son Gus Reimer, 4, for the 1-mile run at the Turkey Trot run held at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Runners sign up for the Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. The proceeds from the run were donated to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiciton. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Runners sign up for the Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. The proceeds from the run were donated to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiciton. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Margie McCord, Forrst Nelson, Mary Armstrong and Mary Bodnar pose for a photo before the Turkey Trot community run at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. The group, calling themselves the “Senior Strutters,” walked the 5K race together in the 20-degree weather Thanksgiving morning. The proceeds from the race were donated to the Soldotna nonprofit Freedom House, a sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Margie McCord, Forrst Nelson, Mary Armstrong and Mary Bodnar pose for a photo before the Turkey Trot community run at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. The group, calling themselves the “Senior Strutters,” walked the 5K race together in the 20-degree weather Thanksgiving morning. The proceeds from the race were donated to the Soldotna nonprofit Freedom House, a sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Runners work up an appetite at Turkey Trot fundraiser

Margie McCord, Forrst Nelson, Mary Armstrong and Mary Bodnar pose for a photo before the Turkey Trot community run at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. The group, calling themselves the “Senior Strutters,” walked the 5K race together in the 20-degree weather Thanksgiving morning. The proceeds from the race were donated to the Soldotna nonprofit Freedom House, a sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Adam Reimer and his son Gus Reimer, 4, finish the 1-mile Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. The organizers of the event, which also included a 5K race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Adam Reimer and his son Gus Reimer, 4, finish the 1-mile Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. The organizers of the event, which also included a 5K race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Nathan Nelson, 4, makes a final sprint to the finish of the 1-mile Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. The organizers of the event, which also included a 5K race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna-based nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Nathan Nelson, 4, makes a final sprint to the finish of the 1-mile Turkey Trot race at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Thursday in Soldotna. The organizers of the event, which also included a 5K race, donated all the proceeds to Freedom House, a Soldotna-based nonprofit sober living home for women recovering from addiction. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

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