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Fun Run Racing’s Turkey Trot Begins New Holiday Tradition

| November 30, 2014 | 0 Comments | Community
In costumes and bright run t-shirts, runners have fun on the run.

In costumes and bright run t-shirts, runners have fun on the run.

Running in a Fun Run Racing race during the holidays is quickly becoming a local Prince William tradition. This Thanksgiving morning, there were more than 800 5K runners and 320 1-mile runners participating in the Turkey Trot run, which was also noteworthy for its pageantry.

Race organizer Rob Dulan said this race saw a much larger turnout than their previous Freedom run held on 4th of July. He was impressed by all of the great costumes.

“The race was a resounding success; numerous runners ran as a family, and the costumes were unbelievable.” Dulan said.

Scott Koza

Scott Koza with sister, Brenda McGinley, before picking up their race numbers.

Thanksgiving is a good day to race, because it allows people to burn calorie and to increase their metabolism before what is for many people the year’s biggest feast. And, for many local families, it became a way either to start a new tradition or to continue an old one close to home.

Siblings Scott Koza and Brenda McGinley have been running races on Thanksgiving morning for several years now.

“We’ve done it when living in Chicago, but it has been a tradition since I started it in Houston,” Koza said.

The Murrays all dressed up for the Turkey Trot.

The Murrays all dressed up for the Turkey Trot.( Top L-R): Kurtis, Richard, Brad and Tiffany. (Bottom L-R): Ella, Annalise and Matthew.

Scott wore a turkey hat, and his brother-in-law pointed out that the hat was punishment for losing a family race. In his defense, Koza said that backyard style race was a sprint, and he’s more of a distance runner.

Like Koza, Tiffany Murray as been participating in various Thanksgiving Day runs since she lived across the country, in her case, Arizona. This year, she brought along her family of seven to run along, and they all wore turkey headdresses.

The Schumachers came down to Virginia from Rochester, New York to celebrate Thanksgiving with relatives. Wanting to run a 5K, they sought out Fun Run Racing’s Turkey Trot and invited their NoVa relatives to run along in the 1-mile run.

“Hopefully, it’s the beginning of a tradition,” said Jeff Schumacher.

family

Jeff Schumacher with wife Dana and daughter Amy. Hopefully, it’s the beginning of a tradition,” said Jeff Schumacher.

Beginning at 7 a.m., runners gathered inside the Freedom Aquatic Center to get their racing number and stretch before the race. It allowed them to stay warm inside on a cold day.

During that time, race volunteers surveyed the crowd and handed out 100 $10 gift certificates to The Running Store as a reward for those who wore the best costumes. Ian Connor, owner of The Running Store in Gainesville and co-founder of Fun Run Racing, wanted to make sure that his races gave prizes to not only top runners, but to spirited participants as well.

The --- family, dressed as pilgrims and Thanksgiving Indians make their way to the starting line.

The Holder family, dressed as pilgrims and Thanksgiving Indians make their way to the starting line. Dad, J.D; mom, Merritt; and daughter, Carleigh.

Fun Run Racing also partnered with the Bull Run Rotary Club and SERVE to help serve the community. According to Dulan, over the last six months, Fun Run Racing donated $12,000 to the Bull Run Rotary Club.

Dan Radtke of Bull Run Rotary said he wanted his chapter to participate because “it’s part of our fundraising activities and for the charities that we support, and the things we do in the community.”

To help SERVE, they asked participants to bring can goods with them, which the Freedom Center at their front desk.

Runners are about to take off at the starting line.

Runners are about to take off at the starting line.

At 8:15 a.m., runners began gathering outside at the starting line. There, a D.J. played upbeat music, and a giant turkey balloon swayed in the wind. Volunteers rushed around to make sure everything was ready for the start, including Connor, who dressed as a pilgrim.

People of all ages lined up. The most skilled racers in their running shorts, tank tops and lightweight running sneakers stretched at the front of the line. People of all ages, filled in behind.

After a word from the Rotary Club representative, runners turned towards the flag and listened to the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.

A long line of 800 runners took about a minute to all pass by the starting line.

A long line of 800 runners took about a minute to all pass by the starting line.

At 8:30 a.m., the runners were off. The start emphasized the impressive number of runners participating. About 17 minutes later, the fastest runners began to return to what was now the finish line. Runners would continue to cross the line for the next 50 minutes.

As runners finished the 5K, they were all handed envelopes. Inside were coupons for $13 Balega athletic socks from The Running Store. In addition, Fun Run Racing randomly places 100 golden tickets. Golden ticket holders won a pumpkin pie.

Fun Run Racing also gave out prizes for the best runners according to age and gender.

At 9:30, runners took off for the 1-mile fun run, a run that all family members, including young children could enjoy.

--- won a costume prize for his Turkey outfit.

Ryan Davison, 8, of Bristow, won a costume prize for his Turkey outfit.

After the race, Dulin and Connor were very excited to have had such a great turnout and successful day. They thanked the Bull Run Rotary Club and The Freedom and Aquatic Center for working with them.

Dulin explained that, “Fun Run Racing is committed to providing exciting and ‘user friendly’ races in our area.”

With two successful races now under their belts, Dulan and Connor are now looking forward to The Resolution Run on New Year’s Day.

© 2014, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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