~ PVN staff report
LURAY, Nov. 20 — About 180 runners showed up for the annual Turkey Trot 5K/1K along the Hawksbill Greenway on Saturday morning. The fundraising event sponsored by Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA) works with running clubs at local schools and other organizations to create a healthy activity for families.
“We raise a little money, but it’s more of a way to get kids and parents out and active,” PACA program director Megan Gordon said during the event.
This is the sixth year that PACA has coordinated the fall event. It started a few years prior to the organization taking over in 2015. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s event was held only through virtual submissions by 120 participants. This year’s event had a few virtual participants, but the majority of the 250 registrants showed up on a chilly November morning to run the greenway course.
While adults paid $20 entry fees, school-aged children in Page County received free registration through a grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. This year’s registration was about average at 250, according to Gordon, with the top years getting close to 300 participants.
The PACA director said the event offers volunteer opportunities for high school students and gives elementary and middle school running clubs a goal to work toward. Springfield Elementary and Luray Elementary currently have running clubs. Gordon said she hopes to establish clubs at Stanley Elementary and Shenandoah Elementary before the planned Earth Day run in the spring. She noted, however, that despite the lack of running clubs at some schools, the annual Turkey Trot draws participation from all across the county.
The 1K kicked off the event at 9:30 a.m., while the 5K started at 10 a.m. The 5K was broken into nine age groups, ranging from 10 and under to 75 and over. Prizes were awarded to the top three finishers in each age division — a pumpkin pie for first place, pumpkin bread for second place, and pumpkin muffins for third.
“Turkey Trot brings families out,” Gordon said on Saturday morning as numerous family supporters took pictures and cheered on their runners along the greenway and from the banks of Hawksbill Creek.
“It’s good to see families out and doing things together.”