Russo, McCarthy Lead Way In Frigid Turkey Trot
The coldest Newtown Turkey Trot did not deter running enthusiasts of all levels on Thanksgiving morning. Protected with face masks, gloves, and hats — some of the festive variety — athletes earned their stuffing (and an extra piece of pumpkin pie) with a 7:45 am 5K race, that started at Hawley School, weaved through the streets of town, and finished at the middle school.
Predicted temperatures in the teens with an anticipated windchill bringing it down to zero may have kept some registered runners away from the ninth annual race, organizers said, but the wind also stayed away for the most part, the sun was shining, and with turkey dinner waiting the participants (678 of them) gave it their all in the November 22 competition.
Mitchell Russo, a 2013 Newtown High School graduate and former standout runner for the Nighthawks who last ran the race in 2014 when he won it, gobbled up top honors again. He finished in a time of 16:43. Russo — of Jamestown, R.I. — back in the area for the holiday, recalled that there was snow on the ground the last time he ran the Turkey Trot.
"It's cold but I'm well out of shape so the cold helped," said Russo, 23, adding that this was his first race in a year.
Ally McCarthy, 14 and fresh off her soccer season at Newtown High, was the top female for the first time. McCarthy, who has won her age category before, finished in 21:05.
"It was pretty cold. I think the cold definitely made it more difficult to run. Overall, it wasn't terrible. People still came out and ran," McCarthy said.
Thanksgiving Dinner is a time for families to gather, and so too is this race. There were plenty of parent-child and sibling combinations out on the course.
Sara Csaszar and her daughter Clare, 9, of Newtown, have done the Turkey Trot a handful of times. This was the coldest, but "not bad once you're running," Sara Csaszar said.
Monroe's Karen O'Keefe ran with her three children, Sean, Robert, and Kaity in what has become a family tradition throughout the years.
"This is the first time in four years I beat my mom and now I'll retire," Sean O'Keefe joked.
Scotti Hamilton, 20, was second in 17:02; Nick Jacobs, 16, came in third in 18:01; Ryan Escoda, 18, placed fourth in 18:35; Justin Halmose, 17, was fifth in 18:40; Derek Gallo, 20, placed sixth in 19:19; Jeffrey Fagan, 41, placed seventh in 19:38; Philip Tisi, 37, was eighth in 19:53; Samuel Moffat, 15, came in ninth with a time of 19:59; and Brian Stickles, 30, was tenth, clocking in at 20:02.
McCarthy was 17th overall. Other top females were Jocelyn Stark, 40, who was 22nd in 21:49; Brenda McRae, 35, who came in 30th in 22:01; Sarah Mawdsley, 20, who finished 31st, also in a time of 22:01; and Jennifer Fagan, 40, who placed 38th in 22:20.
The race benefits the CH Booth Library, and is sponsored by Newtown Savings Bank. For complete results, visit the Rat Race Timing webpage.
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