SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

December 16, 2013

Letter: A Wild Turkey thank you


The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

This year, three records were broken at the Wild Turkey 5-Mile Run on Thanksgiving morning — we had a record number of registered runners, the winner shattered the course record, and it was the coldest race in our 10-year history!

More than 1,900 runners, volunteers and spectators braved the cold winds and took over the streets of Salem to start their holiday participating in the event.

On behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, thank you to each and every one of our registered runners. Your generosity and support of this annual event benefits our youth programs, and for that we are truly thankful.

This year’s Wild Turkey Run was our biggest race yet and remains the largest race on the North Shore. We added an additional 100 registrations this year over last and 1,600 additional runners since our inception in 2004, thanks to hundreds of participants who make this race part of their holiday tradition.

Some interesting statistics from this year’s race:

For the seventh year in a row, women runners outnumbered men, 59 percent to 41 percent.

Runner ages ranged from 9 years old to 77 years old!

We had 21 runners who have run all 10 Wild Turkey Runs!

A record-setting winning time of 24:55 was turned in by Russell Brown, who recently moved from Eugene, Ore., to New York City and was in Salem visiting his grandmother and decided to run the Wild Turkey Run.

The female winner was Christine O’Donnell Hagan, originally from Salem, now living in Burlington, Vt. She won for the fourth time in 10 years in a time of 31:27.

Competitors joined us from across the country, representing the states of Alabama, West Virginia, California, Virginia, Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington.

This great event could not be possible without the support of our community sponsors. Major sponsors include: New England Running Company, Brooks Sports Co., Ernst & Young, Butterworth & O’Toole Inc., Footprint Power Salem Station, B&S Fitness, Dunkin’ Donuts and Perry & Perry Attorneys at Law.

Additional race sponsors and donors include: ToomeySports, McDonough Family, North Shore Road Race Guide, Cape Cod Potato Chips, Clarke Brothers Fuel, Boston Herald, Salem Moose Family Center, state Rep. John Keenan, Beverly Cooperative Bank, Herzog Aesthetic Family Dental Care, Kaloutas Painting, John J. Walsh Insurance, East Boston Savings Bank, Wire 4 Hire, www.salemroadraces.com, Salem Trolley, Dr. Pat Curtin, Danversport Yacht Club, Atlantic Ambulance, Rooter-Man and StephenOGrady.com.

Special gratitude to the many volunteers who donated their Thanksgiving morning to help at the race: Tom O’Shea, Mary Manning, Kevin Powers, Ellen Talkowsky, Tim Short, Beth O’Grady, Melissa Lucas and Ilene Simons, Joe Melanaphy, Ed Zielinski, Sandy George, Natalie and Eric Thelen, Matt Carr, Joseph Gaillet, Meghan Murtagh, Kathy O’Donnell, Ben Hartley, Tom St. Pierre, Lisa Cammarata, Andy Sousa, Marina Moriarty, TR Ramsdell, Kerry and Natalie Phelan, Paul Cranney, Dave Drillis, and Mike Toomey. Special thanks to the cheering group from the Willows neighborhood and to Gif and Michele Campbell for the great photographs they took at the race!

Thank you to the Salem police, who did a great job of controlling the traffic during the race to keep the runners safe, and to the many Salem residents along the route who cheered our runners on and embrace this holiday event.

For those of you inspired to sign up for the 2014 New England Running Company–Brooks Road Race series, see salemroadraces.com or email dougbollen12@yahoo.com for a form. Sign up soon so you can join us for the first race of 2014 on New Year’s Day: The Frosty Four!

Again, thank you to everyone for making this yet another great Thanksgiving Day event!

Doug Bollen

Wild Turkey Race Director

Chief of Operations

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem

Joanne Scott

Executive director

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem