Story by Phil Marshall
For the 19th year in a row, the annual Turkey Trot took place on the campus of Hagerstown Community College. The 5k race featured a field of more than 900 runners from the four-state region. In 2001, the event started with only 136 runners and has grown tremendously over the years. All the proceeds for the event go towards scholarships for student athletes. The Head of the Department of Recreation for Washington County's Jaime Dick says he is proud of what the event has produced over the years.
"We have raised more than 300,000 dollars since the beginning," Dick said. "We have also produced about 10 tons of food over that time period as well."
The event also works with the toys for tots' program and participating in toy drives.
"It's a great way to start off your Thanksgiving," he said. "The county commissioners work with us to collaborate the event and it's always nice to have their support."
Hagerstown CC stand-out Henry Schmidt secured a fourth-place finish overall with a time of 16:19.9. Teammate Saige Vipond finished twelve overall with a time of 17:02.4.
"This was my first Turkey Trot and I love the atmosphere here," Schmidt said. "I had some tough competition out here and I tried to stay with my competitors but they just beat me today."
17-year-old Walter Seller won the overall race with a time of 15:56.2.
Meggan Grams won the women's race with a time of 16:56.5. Grams serves as a volunteer coach for the Hagerstown CC Cross Country team. She has participated in four turkey trots and has won three of them.
"It was really windy out there today but the boys really pushed me," she said. "It was a tough race but I am proud of my performance."
Last year's overall winner Brandon Mauck, a member of the Williamsport Running Club, finished seventh overall with a time of 16:44.9.
"I just found out two days ago that I was entered into the race so I didn't get a chance to train for it," Mauck said. "I was still happy with my result and have started to prepare for the Boston Marathon in April."
Mauck qualified for the 2020 Boston Marathon and plans to make it his last marathon of his running career.