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Turkey Trot

Maricopa Turkey Trot, now in its 12th year, brought in 961 pounds of food to restock the shelves at the food bank at F.O.R. Maricopa. The Thanksgiving morning event at Copper Sky included a 5K run an 1-mile walk for all ages. To enter, participants brought nonperishable food. The first 36 finishers received a pumpkin pie (the youngest being 6 years old). The event is organized by the City of Maricopa.

The City of Maricopa took over the 11th annual Turkey Trot, a 5K run and 1-mile walk to collect food for F.O.R. Maricopa’s food bank. The first 20 finishers in the Thanksgiving morning event scooped up a pumpkin pie. The run moved to Copper Sky this year.

The Maricopa Turkey Trot is a fun run/walk early Thanksgiving morning.

Maricopans can lessen their Thanksgiving dinner guilt this year by getting some exercise that morning during the 10th annual Maricopa Turkey Trot.

The 5K/1-mile fun run takes place Nov. 23 at Pacana Park at 8 a.m. Pre-registration begins on site at 7.

Participants can also register online here until Nov. 22 at 10 p.m.

The event also benefits a good cause.

Organizer Jennifer Mix said as always, the only fee is a donation of non-perishable food items to benefit F.O.R. Maricopa Food Bank. The food bank re-opened inside a temporary space at Santa Cruz Elementary Nov. 13.

“What’s been really great is that young men that are interested in becoming Eagle Scouts have started to approach us each year and ask to help because it’s such a great cause,” Mix said.

This year Eagle Scout candidate Jarom Hoopes has assisted Mix with the event by publicizing it and recruiting local sponsors for the race.

After a decade, Mix said she is happy the community is still supporting the trot.

“It’s crazy, I can’t believe we are still doing this ten years later,” Mix said.

For more information visit the event website.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The Maricopa Turkey Trot is a fun run/walk early Thanksgiving morning.

More than 200 people started their Thanksgiving Day with a quick jog in the park for the annual 5K Turkey Trot and 1-mile run/walk at Pacana Park. The event benefited the food bank at F.O.R. Maricopa.

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Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Ronnie Buchanan won the 5K Turkey Trot in 15:14 on Thanksgiving Day at Pacana Park. Top finisher in the 1-mile run/walk was Jayden Tuke in 7:35. Proceeds benefited F.O.R. Maricopa. The race was also a collection point for Mothers of Everyday Heroes. See more race results at http://maricopaturkeytrot.blogspot.com/p/results.html

Get out and run for a good cause on Thanksgiving morning in the annual Turkey Trot at Pacana Park.

The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Maricopa seeks nonperishable food items and goods to help support local homeless teens.

Eight years ago, the Turkey Trot started as an idea between Austin Hoopes and his sister, Jennifer Mix. The two wanted to do a Thanksgiving Day run, but the closest event was in Mesa. Instead of driving so far north on the holiday, they organized their own trot in the Villages subdivision.

Since 2008, the event has continued to grow. In 2009, the Maricopa Police Department got involved, and Hoopes began collecting nonperishable goods from the events participants to donate to families in need.

Last year, Hoopes got corporate sponsors involved to share some of the out of pocket costs. This year, the Maricopa County Sheriff and Attorney’s offices are sponsoring the event, along with the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, Mothers of Everyday Heroes, Be Awesome Coalition, Casa Grande Alliance and Coolidge Youth Coalition.

“The event is free, we just request everyone brings a nonperishable food item or item from our list to help our local homeless teens,” Hoopes said. “Over the last few years we’ve done this, we’ve been able to gather hundreds of pounds of goods to help people in need. This year, we want to focus on the youth in the community who need our help.”

Items being requested include nonperishable food, packages of pens and pencils, paper and notebooks, travel size toiletries, jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, backpacks and winter clothing.

“It’s a great way to show gratitude for what you have,” Hoopes said. “[Thanksgiving] is a great time of year to show that appreciation.”

The event will take place Thanksgiving morning and feature bounce houses for participants to enjoy, and a DJ to provide music and entertainment.

Participants can pre-register for the 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) run or the 1-mile “Family Fun Run” online at http://maricopaturkeytrot.blogspot.com, or in person at Pacana Park at 7 a.m. before the event begins. The 5K will begin on the soccer fields at Pacana Park at 8 a.m., and the “Fun Run” will begin in the same spot at 8:10 a.m. Course maps are available online.