Looking for a pre-Thanksgiving workout to prepare you for a day of feasting?
Look no further.
South Little League will hold its fifth annual Turkey Trot 5K beginning at 9 a.m. Nov. 16 at the Susquehanna Riverwalk. Registration for the event will start at 8 a.m. at Philips Business Park.
Money raised from the Turkey Trot goes to South Little League to maintain facilities and pay for ongoing needs.
According to John Engel, one of the organizers for the event, the Turkey Trot initially began because their Little League fields were in disrepair. With money raised from past runs, South Little League has been able to redo Lions Field, where children ages 9 to 12 play, work on the junior field and add a fence to the girls’ softball field.
The idea for the event was first pitched by Jamie Flick, former board president for South Little League. The organization was one of the first to take advantage of the riverwalk, according to Engel.
“When we did the first one, it was the first race on the riverwalk and it was a way to include the riverwalk into an event,” Engel said.
With Flick’s idea and Engel’s connection to potential sponsors, the event became a reality and ultimately a success.
From year to year, the Turkey Trot averages between 270 to 300 people in attendance.
This year, participants will run and walk the approximately 3.1 mile long paved walkway loop along the levee system in Williamsport and South Williamsport, crossing the river at Market Street Bridge and Maynard Street Bridge.
Runners can compete in seven age categories ranging from 15 and under to 60 and older. There will be medals for the top three male and female runners, first place finishers in each age category and first place male and female walkers. There also will be a kids’ fun run with medals for participants.
Last year, Griffin Molino, who had been involved in Little League, took first place.
“It was nice to see one of our kids win the entire event,” Engel said.
For Engel, the best part of the event is the beginning of the race.
“The start of the race is fun. I love watching everyone take off. As runner, I appreciate seeing everyone out there running,” he said.
And once the race finishes, the end results are rewarding for all involved.
“The rewarding part is when we see what we raise and how we put it back into the field,” Engel said.
Some of the repair projects, such as the softball field renovation, can cost thousands of dollars. Engel finds it encouraging to see the community so willing to donate to keep Little League going.
“It makes you feel good to see that people in the community are willing to give,” he said. “It’s a lot of money to maintain the facilities, but we do it for the kids.”
Registration for the race is open through race day, Nov. 16.
For more information or to register for the race, visit www.southll.com/turkey-trot/.