Chilly conditions don't slow field of 3,681 in Valparaiso Turkey Trot

2013-11-28T17:00:00Z 2013-12-02T23:17:14Z Chilly conditions don't slow field of 3,681 in Valparaiso Turkey TrotDwight Haislet Times Correspondent
November 28, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | Eighty-five-year-old Tom Magill of Chesterton wasn't about to let a little cold stop him from competing in the 11th annual Valparaiso Turkey Trot.

Magill took first in the 5K run in the men's 80-and-over division with a time of 45:11. Afterwards, he was ready to go eat and watch some football.

Magill was one of 3,681 runners who participated in the Thanksgiving Day morning race. The total participants exceeded last year's total, and the Turkey Trot has grown to the largest race in Northwest Indiana.

"I'm 85," Magill said. "I'm just glad to be here. I actually like running in colder weathers. I started running when I was about 35. I celebrated by 85th birthday at Mackinaw Island doing the 8-mile race up there. Now I'm going to take it easy, have a lot of turkey, and watch the Packers beat Detroit."

In the men's open division of the 10K run, Nikolas Jeftich of Valparaiso finished first with a time of 31:49. In the women's 10K run, Rachael Marchand of Valparaiso took first with a time of 35:59. Kevin Hickey placed second in the men's open 10K with a 34:15, while Lucie Sulewski finished in second in the women's open 10K run with a 38:15.

"It was a pretty good race for the conditions," Jeftich said. "I've been through a lot of races and intense mileage lately, so for my time I ran today, I was pretty satisfied."

Leo Frey placed first in the men's master division of the 10K run, and Monica Brackney finished first in the female masters division. Marchand, the defending female champion from 2012's 10K Turkey Trot, felt she may have underestimated the cold temps.

"I actually wore shorts with compression socks and a long sleeve but it was a mistake," Marchand said. "I was really cold the whole time. I think next year, I'll probably dress a little bit warmer."

Over 30 states were represented at Thursday's morning's race, and the runners braved temperatures in the 20s at the race start time.

In the 5K run, Whitney Stanfill placed first in the female open division with a time of 21:53. Alena Tonne placed second with a time of 22:24. Lucas Prather's 17:25 was good for first place in the men's open 5K run, while Mitchell Wilborn placed second in 17:36. Brain McGue of Chesterton took first in the 5K men's masters division, and Linda Murkve of Valparaiso captured first in the women's masters division with a time of 24:10.

"It was cold," McGue said laughing. "It felt good and the course is nice and flat. It's a great thing to do. Turkey Trot in the morning on Thanksgiving, it's just a great community event. I would rather run in the cold, but it could have been a few degrees warmer today."

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