Sometimes the weather cooperates and sometimes it doesn’t. We got super lucky for this year’s Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic! The forecast was not very encouraging and the clouds certainly looked ominous. Folks took a chance and showed up. And in almost record numbers to boot! It sprinkled lightly for about 10 seconds every now and then but otherwise it didn’t rain. That just meant that if you wanted to get wet, you had to splash bigger in the water pit!
The ladies 5K took off at 8:00 am. Ashley Winget from Oro Valley took first place with a time of 19:46 and Megan Greene from Littleton, CO took first master’s place with a time of 20:38. Each won a pair of Brooks shoes from The Running Shop together with a trophy and this year’s “turkey” salt and pepper shakers. Age group winners were: 1-10 Laney Phelps, 11-13 Mariza Chavez, 14-16 Taylor McCue, 17-19 Zoey Delgado, 20-24 Hannah Whetzel, 25-29 Josephine Abbey, 30-34 Claire Hans, 35-39 Cara Payne, 40-44 Kristina Bonet, 45-49 Edith Yee, 50-54 Sharon Silvas, 55-59 Michele Watson, 60-64 Janet Holland, 65-69 Beth Scott, 70-74 Mary Croft, and 75-79 Loretta Gascoigne. Since the course record from 2011 set by Tara Erdmann at 17:08.2 remains, the course record pot increases another $50 to $450 for next year.
The men followed at 8:45 with Nathan Thomas, in a time of 15:37, taking first place for the third year in a row! The masters winner was Orlando Velazquez with a time of 17:43. Age group winners were: 1-10 Owen Phelps, 11-13 John Diego (jd) Sportsman, 14-16 Ethan Mobley, 17-19 Emmanuel Corral, 20-24 Brendan Sage, 25-29 Joseph McConaughy, 30-34 Charlie Ware, 35-39 Randy Arriola, 40-44 Keith Henry, 45-49 Sergio Osario, 50-54 Robert Rezetko, 55-59 Jimmy Riccitello, 60-64 Brian Stewart, 65-69 Joe Reda, 70-74 Richard Senti, 75-79 Gary Giese, and 80 and over Don Branaman. The course record set by Craig Curley of 14:54.1, set in 2009, remains and the course record pot for next year will increase to $550!
As usual, the team competition was fierce. Sixteen teams qualified in the ladies division! Wow! Women of Wog took first place with a time of 1:22:33 with the top four finishers being Josephine Abbey, Alexis White, Cara Payne and Ashlee Michels. Those Damn Wog Kids took second place in a time of 1:35:30. Eight mens teams qualified and WOG Dawgs took first place with a time of 1:12:38. Top four on WOG Dawgs were Charlie Ware, Angel Ochoa, Alek Comyford and Robert Rezetko. Second place mens team was Himmel parkrun with a time of 1:20:20. First place teams win a $50 Rocco’s gift certificate and second place teams win a $25 Rocco’s gift certificate.
We always look forward to the fabulous expressions expressed through photos from Oro Valley Photography. With the possibility of rain in the forecast, we were concerned that we would have to forego the photo booth this year. Thankfully the weather cooperated and the photo booth was able to remain. We look forward to seeing those photo booth pics as well as race pics! Hopefully they will be posted quickly. Go to orovalleyphotography.com to view them all!
It takes a village to put on an event and we are eternally grateful to the community and all involved that helped make this happen. Our generous sponsors include The Running Shop, Brooks, Bashas, Sonic Drive In, Sparkletts Water, Bruegger’s Bagels, DJ Rich and Southern Arizona Roadrunners. My co-race director, Martin Pena, always deserves bundles and bundles of gratitude. More heartfelt thanks to Lucas Tyler and Steve Outridge for coordinating everything that Martin or I can’t do. I personally want to say Thank You to my amazing Running Shop staff, Lucas, Geoff, Ava, Meggie, Brian and Laurie for helping ease my craziness. And a huge shout out to Michelle Hawk for making sure the registration process goes smoothly! And another huge shout out to Doreen Davis for overseeing the food preparation and helping pass our inspection with flying colors. There aren’t enough ways for me to express my appreciation of Chip Travers, our artist extraordinaire. I send yet another big shout out to Sheryl Felde for helping coordinate all of the volunteers. And for those other volunteers who gave up their time on or right around Thanksgiving, Thank YOU, from the bottom of my heart, including Marti, Autumn, Monica, Dennis, Patricio, Amye, Mary, Maureen, Joan, Cathy, Dave, Chris, Lauren, Joe, Steve, Kristin, Jeff, Caroline, Gary, Denise, Darla, Shirley, Janet, Heather, Connie, Steve, Tina, Andrew, Joe,Laurie, Erik, Geoff, Kristen, Lisa, Sarah, Steve, Penny, Stefan, Don and Carolina. As I said, it takes a village! (Please accept my apologies if you volunteered and your name was missed. The omission is not intentional and you are truly appreciated!)
We gladly include Toys for Tots and Team Hoyt as our beneficiaries. The additional donations made by many of you this year is truly heartwarming. Over $800 in additional donations were made to Team Hoyt and close to $1400 in additional donations were made to Toys for Tots. And that doesn’t include the toys brought to the event. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!
We have a couple of items turned into the Lost and Found that have not yet been claimed. A pair of eye glasses and a set of head phones are waiting at The Running Shop to be claimed. If you registered and were not able to pick up your tee shirt, we have some left and they are at the shop. If you have not yet received your award, it is also waiting for you at The Running Shop.
We wish you happy and healthy holidays. See you at the 2020 Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic (Tucson’s original Turkey Trot)!