The annual Turkey Trot returned to the streets of Uniontown Thanksgiving morning after a year hiatus in 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
(Hopefully, this will be the last time I'll have to use "after a year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic" describing an event that returns. Hopeful, but, unfortunately, not too hopeful.)
I, too, returned to the streets of Uniontown Thanksgiving morn. The weather, though a bit windy, was pleasant for a late November day.
Although, the start time of 9 a.m. is a tad early to exercise in earnest, but that's just me.
Over 700 folks, plus a number of kiddies in the Tot Trot, gathered in front of the Salvation Army, the beneficiary of race proceeds.
I was muddling my way through the course when a sea of scarlet crossed the finish line in the 5K run.
It was like a Uniontown alumni race at the finish line with four of the top 5 males and two of the top five women runners under the guidance, at one time or another, of Joe Everhart.
Junior Mason Stewart had a strong performance on a route he's familiar with, crossing the finish line in 16:22. Former county champion and current Seton Hill runner Logan Maust finished about a minute later.
Stewart's teammate Nathan Lucy was third in 17:36. Nate Edenfield, another county champion and former winner of the Turkey Trot, was fourth in 17:42.
New York City's Bobby Durant broke the string in fifth place in 18:09.
Hope Trimmer, a Uniontown junior who finished third in this year's WPIAL final and fourth in the state meet, won the women's 5K run in 19:02.
Teammate Emily Angelo, a sophomore, was fourth in 21:30.
As for yours truly, I was the third male walker and fourth overall in a really decent time, for me at least. Crossing the finish line in 34:32 was one of my better times in recent days.
Kudos to Jacynth Drumhiller for winning the women's 5K walk. I got a step or two on Jacynth, but she caught up to me in the final 200 meters.
Of all the numbers to pocket dial, somehow my "smart" phone dialed, of all people, "911". I was moving along pretty good at that point of the race with a buzzer/horn sound coming from my pocket.
Next thing I know, my "smart" watch is receiving a call from a number I don't recognize. I'm in the midst of plugging along, so I just let it go.
I check my messages after I cross the finish line and I have a call from the good folks from 911. I am okay and I appreciate your concern for my safety.
Had a nice surprise when my nephew Brian Lohr decided he wanted to do a Turkey Trot and, since his buddies weren't competing in the Greensburg race, he came to Uniontown. He had a top-25 finish and was second in his age group, not bad for a spur of the moment decision.
The race was filled with a number of familiar faces. Nice to see folks again.
The crowd was filled with accomplished runners, including WPIAL and PIAA track champion Kenny King and WPIAL cross country champion and former Turkey Trot champion Jennifer (Locke) Hoffman.
Monica Kolencik, a Geibel Catholic graduate who earned PAC postseason honors, placed 42nd in the women's run, right behind Connellsville graduate Ally Wilson.
Joe Kuhns told me he represented retired coaches, while Uniontown's Aaron Scott and Matt Girod showed up for current coaches.
Again, big round of applause for all who set up the race, directed traffic and every other duty to pull off a very successful race.
Now, time for dinner. I still adhere to my principle that today is a calorie-free day because I participated in a 5K that benefited a fine organization.
I hope everyone out there had a wonderful, safe Thanksgiving. Now, time for the real competition to begin ... Black Friday!