If you think it never gets cold in Florida, I welcome you to race the Habitat for Humanity Turkey Trot 5k which takes place on the beautiful grounds of Edison State College in Punta Gorda. I entered this race in 2012 and had my first taste of Thanksgiving morning's unexpected chill. Last year it was about 45 degrees but this year was at least 5 degrees colder.
555 Runners, many wrapped in sweatsuits, took to the grounds of the college passing back and forth on the roads with a final loop around the pond and down to the finish. The benefit of the weather change was that chattering teeth and crisp winds inspired people to run very fast.
How fast were the runners? Let's start with the top 3 Men Overall. All of them were under 23 years old, one of them (Ian Elkin) was only 16. All three braved the weather with the minimum of clothing and the maximum of preparation. All three were cruising along doing 5 minute miles.
1. Johnathan Nusbaum 15:59
2. Anthony Pollizzi 16:12
3. Ian Elkin 16:21
Johnathan Nusbaum is no stranger to the Turkey Trot. He competed last year winning the Men's 20-24 class and taking 2nd overall. His time last year was 17:21 but he picked up his game this year by chopping off a full two minutes! Johnathan and his overall plaque are pictured at the top of this article.
Now for the ladies! The top spot for overall female was as close a race as anyone could possibly imagine. Twenty six year old Brooke Dilmore went elbow to elbow with sixteen year old Jamie Weisburger in a mad sprint to the finish line. Brooke won the challenge with only three tenths of a second separating them. The two ladies can be seen in the photo below.
1. Brooke Dilmore 20:28.5
2. Jamie Weisburger 20:28.8
3. Sherri LaBree 21:52
Coming third fastest was Punta Gorda's Sherry LaBree. While Sherry was a full minute behind the two leaders she managed win the Women's 35-39 class with a two minute lead.
The racing action was worth watching even if you did have to huddle deep in a winter coat sipping a steaming mug of coffee. However, this was still a charity race. All proceeds from the event went to the Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity which helps provide homes for needy families. With 555 participants of all ages they certainly got the help they needed.
Plenty of photos were taken of this event. The Zoomers captured runners as they crossed the line while the Bog Dogs got the winners on the podium. Tag yourself, friends and family at the links below.