Turkey Trot returns Nov. 29

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Does Thanksgiving dinner leave you feeling overstuffed and looking for something to do? Well, you can fight off tryptophan-induced post-Thanksgiving lethargy while simultaneously exercising at the Greenwich Alliance for Education (GAE) fourth annual Turkey Trot.

Greenwich citizens will be able to participate in the five-kilometer road race or one-mile fun run/walk event Saturday, Nov. 29. Registration is open and there’s still time to sign up to start shedding off the calories from those extra plates of cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie while also benefiting public education in Greenwich. Registration for the 5K race will cut off at 700 entrants, so time is running out for that one, but the one-mile race will have no limit in participants.

Hosted by the Greenwich Alliance for Education, the race will raise both awareness and funds to support the organization’s efforts to enhance public education for all Greenwich public school students. The alliance is funded solely by individual contributions and donations from larger corporations, and its aim is to support students in Greenwich’s public school system from preschool to high school by creating opportunities to achieve, no matter what a student’s income level is.

Through programs like AVID, Going Places with Books, Tuning in to Music, the alliance’s Storymobile, and its Reaching Out grants, the alliance has played a major role in boosting student opportunities and academic advancement throughout the district. All funds raised by the Turkey Trot will go toward these flagship programs.

Julie Faryniarz, executive director of the alliance, is also the chief organizer of the Turkey Trot race event, and she urged people to get involved.

“The Turkey Trot certainly brings out the community, young and old, to take part in a fun and healthy event to raise money for alliance programs,” Ms. Faryniarz said. “It has become a Thanksgiving holiday tradition. We have families, including their out-of-town relatives, participate together in this event year after year.”

According to Ms. Faryniarz, the alliance expects to have more than 1,200 participants this year total for both the 5K and the fun run. Ms. Faryniarz said that they have 500 registrants, which is well over last year’s average number of competitors, and there’s still time because registration will be open until the day of the race.

Registration is $25 for adults and increases on race day to $35. Children ages 14 and under pay $10 beforehand and $15 at the event. Runners who register before Nov. 19 will receive a gift bag, which comes with a trial membership offer from the YMCA Greenwich, and free Turkey Trot T-shirt for race day. Online registration closes Friday, Nov. 28 at 5 p.m.

On race day, the fun run/walk begins at 9:30 a.m. and the 5K begins at 10. Racers are asked to gather at the Arch Street Teen Center in Greenwich before the race to prepare. Early birds may also catch the 9 a.m. stretch and warm-up session hosted by the Greenwich Track Club. The 5K starts at the Teen Center and wraps through Bruce Park and back to Arch Street, where racers will accelerate at the finish line. The fun race goes along Steamboat Road to Oneida Drive, then to Indian Harbor Drive and down Museum Drive, where runners sprint to the Arch Street finish line.

All one-mile racers will receive medals for their participation and dedication. The top three 5-K runners from each gender-based age group will be awarded with medals based on their finishing times. The first-place finisher for the men in the 2013 race was Stamford resident 45-year-old Anatolie Vartosu, and the women’s champion was 21-year-old Kristina Kates. Mr. Vartosu paced 5:33 minutes per mile, finishing in 17:12 minutes, while Ms. Kates ran with a time of 6:09 per mile, crossing the finish line at 19:03 minutes.

The alliance also hosts the Run for Your School Competition for Greenwich student-racers among the racing turkey-trotters. The school with the greatest participation will win a $500 gift card for athletic equipment, sponsored by RBC Wealth Management. Upon registration, students are asked to indicate their school in order to take a shot at winning this reward.

In addition to RBC, Turkey Trot sponsors include Hospital for Special Surgery, Cadillac of Greenwich, General Atlantic MarketAxess, Patriot National Bank, Computer SuperCenter of Greenwich, Arch Street Teen Center, Coldwell Banker Realty, FC Remodeling, 400 Capital Management, Scott and Icy Frantz, Garden Catering, Greenwich Leadership Partners, Morgan Stanley-The Markey Group, O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, Peter Dusenberry Architecture, and Shepard Insurance Group.

“Our sponsors list has grown this year, and the dollars generated from the sponsors certainly reflect the resources in our community making a difference for Greenwich kids,” Ms. Faryniarz said.

Additional sponsors include Gro Pro Landscape, MBI Inc., Pizza Post, Putnam Shell, The Reform School Pilates Exercise Studio, Rosie’s Frozen Yogurt, YMCA of Greenwich, the Law Office of Erin Spiess Chang, and Old Greenwich Sports & Wellness.

Race refreshments and snacks are provided by Kings Food Markets, Upper Crust Bagel Co., PepsiCo, and Greenwich Track Club.

Through this year’s Trot, the alliance hopes to continue making strides toward bettering the educational experiences of many Greenwich Public School students. Upon crossing the finish line, racers are rewarded not only with the pride of athleticism but also with the excitement of having improved students’ learning, one step at a time.

For additional questions about the GAE or details of the Turkey Trot, contact Ms. Faryniarz at [email protected] or visit Greenwichalliance.org.

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