2016 Pinedale Turkey Trot News
by Craig Sheppard
November 26, 2016
Over 156 registered turkey trotters woke up to a beautiful Pinedale morning. The temperature was 13F degrees at the start of the race with no wind which aided the walkers and runners. The temperature actually climbed into the 20’s to make it one of the warmest Pinedale Turkey Trots in history.
The cloudless skies made it easy to see the great Wind River Mountains on their yearly three mile adventure over the true "over the river and through the woods" course. However, the route was pretty icy all over this year.
Ellen Sheppard was in charge of the hospitality garage, photography and making sure all finishers went to have their times recorded. She also had plenty of warm coffee and cold water ready for the early birds.
As usual there were all types of exercisers participating. We had participants from three-month-old Kassie Pape and eight-month-old Finn Bennettto to a 71-year young person.
This year we had a couple of pregnant ladies getting their exercise in preparation for the big day. One is due any day. Lucky head turkey Sheppard didn’t know about that until after the race.
We had walkers, runners, run/walkers, trotters, and baby strollers. There were people from five different states and seven towns or cities in Wyoming.
There were also plenty of dogs around to help pull their owners through the course. If we added the canines to our list of participants we would have been close to 200 involved. These added guests were not totally unobserved, for Ellen’s cats were on high alert inside the house. We even had three moose observing this annual event from Konicek’s leaf pile and the Sheppard’s backyard. Once they saw all the dogs they retreated to the willows until all visitors left.
Even though this is a fun run/walk, we would like to recognize a few individuals. For the first time in a long time we had two finishers in the 17 minute range. This is quite an accomplishment given the conditions. Seventeen year old Brandon Swenson of Evergreen, Colorado came in first in a great time of 17:10. He was followed by last year’s winner David Rule of Pinedale in 17:41.
Senior Division runner Ken Konicek ran the course in 22:03 followed by Kirk Thomas of Salt Lake 25:30. As far as head turkey Sheppard, he did not fare so well. He is getting farther back in the pack, but is still having fun visiting with everyone before, during and after the race.
Channing Winters won the women’s division with a time of 26:30 and JoLee Springman came in second with a time of 27:34. All of our hardy participants are winners for getting out and getting some exercise on such a beautiful Pinedale morning.
The walking division is the hardest one to judge on whether they walked the entire course or ran and walked it and it is definitely the largest division. By my calculation the first true walker was Melanie Lundberg of Provo, Utah in a great time of 43:50.
It was really fun to see trotters dressed up for the Thanksgiving holidays. There were quite a few this year with Emi Domoto-Reilly winning that category dressed in a total turkey costume. Now that is really getting into the spirit big time.
This year there was a lot of young school age participants. It is so good to see so many out doing physical activity. Maybe someday they will be named as the winner of the Pinedale Turkey Trot. If not just being out and pushing their limits on a cold and frosty morning will be a great Thanksgiving memory. We need to mention a couple of young walkers who are really starting their turkey participation out well. 2 and ¾ year old Scout Holmes and three-year old Shay Paravicini both walked the entire course in under 60 minutes. Can you imagine how many steps they had to take?
I know there are many names not mentioned in this article, but it is fun to see so many friends, families, school alumni, former band students and visitors gathering to take in the beautiful scenery and fresh air of Pinedale. Thanks go out to the Pinedale schools for use of their tables, bull horn and cones; Pinedale Half Marathon for use of their timer; and also to the Pinedale newspapers, banks and Pinedale Online for advertising. I especially need to thank my wife Ellen for putting up with my many passions of which one is running the Pinedale Turkey Trot.
This was the 26th running of the Pinedale Turkey Trot and with all the favorable comments it seems to have developed into a great annual tradition for the Pinedale community and their Thanksgiving guests. Don’t forget it is never too late to get in shape for the 27th annual Pinedale Turkey Trot which will be held Thanksgiving morning 2017 at the Sheppard’s house at 9AM. See you then!