ARLINGTON — Hundreds of people burned calories before their Thanksgiving feasts Thursday.
They gathered at the Grocery Outlet parking lot in Arlington for the annual Turkey Trot 5K.
The Arlington Runners Club has hosted the race for three years. The group donates the proceeds to a local nonprofit. This year they chose to work with the Stillaguamish Senior Center. All 375 tickets were sold. Some people had to be turned away.
About $5,000 was raised for the senior center. The plan is to put the money toward programs and building repairs, said Danette Klemens, executive director of the senior center.
Devin Brossard is president of the running club, which started hosting the Turkey Trot a few years ago. He expects to double the number of participants next year.
“Every year each race gets a little bit bigger, a little more exciting,” he said.
Michelle Clark and Marisa Rosborn each brought their kids for the second year in a row. Clark lives in Arlington, and Rosborn in Granite Falls. They hope to make it a family tradition.
Rosborn wanted to get some exercise before eating turkey.
“We have to lose the pounds before we get the pounds,” she said.
Clark’s 8-year-old daughter missed the event last time. She woke up early this year because she was so excited.
“She got up at 3 a.m., ready to go,” Clark said. “I told her to go back to bed.”
Before the race, bowling pins were set up near the store entrance, along with a frozen turkey. Each time someone tossed the bird down the lane, the business would donate a pumpkin pie to the senior center. Everyone also was invited to warm up with a quick Zumba lesson.
People lined up to start at 9 a.m. The course was set up through Haller Park, Eagle Trail and Dike Road, which lead back to the grocery store.
Folks rang cow bells as the runners made their way back.
The first person to complete the trail was Alex Jensen, a junior at Lakewood High School. He ran the 3.1 miles in 18 minutes flat, he said.
Frozen turkeys were set near the path. Whoever found one could carry it to the finish line.
“I was looking for them,” Jensen said. “I didn’t see any.”
This was the first time Jensen had been to the Thanksgiving festivities. He came with his coaches from his high school running team. He didn’t think they’d be suprised to hear that he was the first person to cross the finish line.
A slice of pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream and a turkey-shaped medal was waiting at the end.