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Runners in the Sedona area found a perfect way to burn off those Thanksgiving day calories, even before they consumed them.
The 2013 Sedona Turkey Trot 5K hosted 236 runners bright and early Thursday morning, Nov. 28, at Posse Grounds Park, a huge increase over the 170 runners who participated in last year’s Sedona Turkey Trot.

Runners sprint off the starting line at the Turkey Trot 5K on Thursday, Nov. 28, at Posse Grounds Park.But race director Adam Gifford said the increase in participants was just a natural progression.

“Oddly enough, we marketed it less this year than last year, but we have a lot of people that come back every year to run this,” he said. “There’s about five families with four or more people that have run this the last three years with us. And we got a large group from Flagstaff — once the kids found out about it we had the kids and probably half their parents wanted to run in it as well.”

Part of the Flagstaff group, a new age 19 and younger team sponsored by Team Run Flagstaff, helped boost the total number of Flagstaff runners to almost 70, including race winner Forrest Boughner, an elite runner who beat the course record by more than 45 seconds, finishing in 15 minutes, 48 seconds.

The top women’s finisher was Maddie Kruger of Colorado Springs, Colo., who finished in 19:26.

The top Sedona female finisher was Sammie Cox, who finished sixth in 21:55, and the top Sedona male finisher was Bob Redwanc, who finished 17th in 21:23.

Redwanc is a local runner who participates in many local Sedona running events every year including the Sedona Marathon, and Cox was one of the top girls runners for the Sedona Red Rock cross-country team this fall.

But the fact that elite runners like to make the Turkey Trot part of their Thanksgiving routine doesn’t change the fact that it, and other Turkey Trots around the country, are primarily family events.

“I told people they can bring their dogs, they can bring a stroller, someone had their son on a bike next to them, someone had their grandfather on a bike next to them,” Gifford said. “We basically don’t say no to anybody. If somebody wants to show up with a dog, with a kid, with a stroller — everybody’s welcome.

“It’s cool because we get super fast elite guys like Forrest, and we also get the families out there with matching T-shirts that love to have fun and a lot of people with cameras taking pictures.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Dec. 4, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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