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Trotting out for a run: 70-plus take part in annual Turkey Trot event

Runners at this year's Turkey Trot 5K take off from the starting line as the race begins near Bemidji State University's Gillette Recreation Center on Saturday. There were 70 adults participating in the 5K and nine children who ran an abbreviated course. (Carrie Sandstrom | Bemidji Pioneer)

Carrie Sandstrom

Special to the Pioneer

BEMIDJI -- Seventy warmly dressed participants crowded the starting line near Bemidji State University's Gillette Recreation Center at this year's Turkey Trot 5K on Saturday morning.

The race, which serves as a fundraiser for the BSU cross country and track teams, has been held for nearly 10 years, according to BSU cross country and track coach Craig Hougen.

"It's a community event," Hougen said. "It's something for people to do after Thanksgiving to stay active."

Sam Carlson, 18, was the first to cross a snowy finish line, with a time of 16:44.3. Leading the women was Melanie Hevel Olson, 32, who finished the race with a time of 20:58.9.

Miss Bemidji Jane Hovet and Miss Northern Lakes Hope Livdahl were waiting at the finish line to hang medals over the necks of the top finishers. Medals and T-shirts for the event were provided by Thunderbird Trophies and Graphics.

Hougen said all children who participated received one of the 40 medals made for the day's events. After nine medals were given out to the youth participants, the remaining were awarded to the top 15 males and the top 16 females.

Following the race, participants were offered slices of pumpkin pie, provided by Raphael's Bakery. The top finisher for each gender received a pie of their own.

Sandstrom is a student at the University of North Dakota working at the Pioneer this week as part of a class.