2022 Turkey Trot sets record for participants

2022 Turkey Trot sets new record for participation
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 2:26 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The 2022 Turkey Trot held by Skinny Raven Sports had over 2,400 registrants — blowing the old record from 2019 out of the water.

Thousands gathered in downtown Anchorage for the race, with many donning turkey costumes to run in the 2022 Turkey Trot before they sit down with friends and family for Thanksgiving dinner.

“Thanksgiving itself has always been one of the biggest running/walking days of the year,” Mark Iverson said, co-owner of Skinny Raven Events and Timing. “There’s turkey trots all across the country. More people come out to do a 5k and other events on Thanksgiving than any other single day of the year.”

The road course throughout downtown Anchorage provided plenty of room for the runners as the 5k and 3k participants raced to the finish line. Crossing the finish line first is usually enough motivation for any racer, but at the Turkey Trot there is another incentive.

“I hear you get pie, so that was like a motivator at two and half miles,” men’s overall champion Xavier Lechleitner said. “I was like wait, I think I get pie if I win. So hopefully I get pie!”

“One hundred percent, pie is the motivation,”said women’s overall champion Alexandria Serventi. “I did my time running in college so now I just want to run for the pie.”

Lechleitner finished with a time of 17:01 to take first in the men’s division, and Serventi finished with a time of 19:25 to win the women’s title. The top three in each age division were awarded pies from Pie Stop, and it was said that the thrill of victory makes them taste even better.

People of all ages, shapes and sizes hit the road for the turkey trot making the atmosphere truly something special to witness. A 5k and a 3k provided the perfect distance for casual runners, serious runners and athletes that have been to the pinnacle of sport.

“Having done so much racing throughout my life and then kind of retiring from competitive sport and not having that dose of adrenaline every single weekend, it’s amazing when you come out and put a bib on, just being a part of something bigger,” said Olympic skiier Kikkan Randall.

The Turkey Trot also doubles as a fundraiser for the Food Bank of Alaska, with Skinny Raven matching any donation up to $1,000 and also helping donate over 1,000 pounds of food.

“It’s a problem year-round, and while around the holidays it gets a lot of attention — and there’s the food drives and the big Thanksgiving day blessings around town — it’s really a year-round problem that people struggle with,” Iverson said.

”So hopefully what we are doing here helps carry forward.”

Complete results from today’s event can be found here.