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Early risers trot down the trail Thursday

2012 fun run draws 250

November 23, 2012
By HANS MADSEN ( , Messenger News

If you're not a morning person, the annual Fort Dodge Trisports Turkey Trot fun run/walk might not be the event to attend on Thanksgiving.

They hit the trail pretty early and the most food you'll get is a banana and a bottle of water - there is no turkey, gravy, stuffing or even a single cranberry.

Monica Shelly, who organized the event for Trisports, said there are several good reasons for that.

"The goal is to get people out to exercise and be healthy on Thanksgiving and to get food to our local food banks," she said.

For Shelly, inspiration for the event, now in its third year - came from her reaction to hitting the trail on the holiday.

"It's my favorite day of the year to run," she said.

There's another advantage for the runners and walkers as well.

"It helps offset your Thanksgiving meal," she said.

In addition, she said the event has grown in turnout. The first year about 70 runners made the event, last year it was 200 and that this year, the number was closer to 250.

"The weather is helping us," she said.

Lance Lennon, of Fort Dodge, and his daughter Molly Lennon, 11, were ready for a good walk together with the family dog Fergus.

It was definitely not their favorite time of the day though.

"I'm not a morning person," Molly Lennon said.

For the pair, it was also a chance to burn some calories.

"We're going to eat a lot today," Lance Lennon said, "We're going to earn our turkey dinner."

Besides the benefit of the exercise, they were also happy to have made the registration fee of three canned goods.

"It's a blessing to be able to share," he said.

Melinda Friesleben, of Denver, Colo., is visiting family in the area. She said that similar runs are held in the Denver area. She found the local event on the Internet.

"I Googled it," she said.

She was reversing the normal order of eat then burn off the calories too.

"I thought I'd come here first, run off the calories." she said.

For twin sisters Faith and Grace Meyer, 13, of rural Pocahontas County, running in the event was not only fun, it gave them the opportunity to do something later.

"Eat more," Faith Meyer said.

While the pair run in almost perfect unison, their favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is not the same.

"I like the stuffing," Faith Meyer said.

"I like the cheesy potatoes," Grace Meyer replied.

Suzanne Schwendemann, director of the Lord's Cupboard, was on hand to collect the part of the canned goods destined for her food pantry. The items she was taking back covered the top of an entire picnic table.

She was going to get her exercise differently than going on the walk.

"This will be workout enough," she said. "The Lord's Cupboard is in the basement."

She was very happy with the donations.

"It's awesome," she said, "It's all about sharing, it's a win-win for everybody."



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