Turkey Trot draws thousands to Lincolnwood
Runners wait Sunday at the start for the Annual Turkey Trot 5K and 10K in Lincolnwood. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
To view more photos from the Turkey Trot visit www.lincolnwood.suntimes.com
Updated: January 21, 2013 1:56AM
LINCOLNWOOD — Turkey lovers kicked off the holiday season not by piling their plates but by moving their feet.
The 36th annual Turkey Trot 5K/10K run and walk on Sunday hosted by the Lincolnwood Parks and Recreation Department drew 1,853 people from throughout the country.
Runners from 12 U.S. states as far as Washington participated in the village’s signature Thanksgiving race.
Mayor Jerry Turry said the annual foot tour helps showcase Lincolnwood.
“(Visitors) will recognize it’s a beautiful community and a nice place to live,” he said.
The sunny, 40-degree day was ideal running weather for most, though cooler temps wouldn’t have fazed Lisa Hyzny of Oak Lawn.
“I like the cold weather,” she said of running in the fall. “It’s nice to get out. It’s refreshing.”
In addition to the run and walk, the event featured a “drumstick dash” for 100 youngsters. Some kids, like 10-year-old Sophia Albrecht of Glenview, opted for more mileage.
She and her father, Joe Albrecht, participated in their third Turkey Trot, this time running the 10K.
“It’s just something we can do together,” he said.
Donna Czech’s 5K running partners were sons Matt, 10, and Will, 9, both who run cross country at their elementary school.
A first time Turkey Trot participant, Czech said the suburban race was easily accessible from her family’s home in Chicago.
“It’s more spread out here,” she said of the course. “It’s nice.”
Participants like Bill Heisler of Oak Park said the race fit in with a new fitness regimen.
“With all the holidays coming up, I thought to get a little ahead of the game,” he said.
Skokie resident Marissa Mussari stood on the sidelines to cheer on her father, Mark, who dropped 50 pounds this year, she said.
“He’s been running ever since,” she said. “I’m so happy for him.”
The Lincolnwood race is an annual tradition for the dozen-member Pawlak family of Schaumburg.
Casey Pawlak, who ran his first Turkey Trot 10K three decades ago, said the weather on race day has always been a toss-up. One particularly cold year he recalled grabbing a frozen cup from a water station.
“I had to crack the ice to get water out,” he said.
Pawlak, who in his heyday participated in 20 races a year, opted to walk this time around. His three adult sons carried on his running legacy Sunday by wearing his original Turkey Trot shirts from the 1980s.
Pawlak said running events appeal to an instinctive desire to recreate communally.
“I never ran so fast that I couldn’t talk to my friends,” he said. “We’re a social animal and that’s what this is.
“People love being around people.”
Tommy Lawler, 22, of Mount Prospect and Columbia Montes, 33, of Chicago were the respective first-place male and female finishers of the Turkey Trot 5K.
The top 10K racers were Joshua Hinds, 26, of Champaign in the men’s division, and Meshelle Rich, 38, of Chicago, in the women’s division.
Fastest Lincolnwood residents were Scott Kalchik, 43, in the 5K and Gregory Stellatos, 30, in the 10K.