By Alexandra Smith
UPPER BURRELL, Pa.—Penn State New Kensington is holding its 34th Annual 5k Turkey Trot and 1-Mile Fun Walk or Run on Saturday, Nov. 9, to benefit the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Students, faculty, staff, and community members of all ages and athletic ability are encouraged to participate in the 5k or 1-Mile Fun Walk or Run, and may bring their dog as well.
The race begins at 10 a.m., and is followed by an awards ceremony that includes free food, vendors and raffles, and concludes at noon.
Pepsi Umberger, race director and kinesiology instructor at Penn State New Kensington, said that proceeds from the event will benefit the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “The really cool thing about the CF Foundation is that 90 cents of every dollar goes to actual research,” she said. “They’ve almost cured CF. They’ve isolated a gene that they’ve basically cured. It’s cool to know that some of the money we’ve raised for the Turkey Trot went to actually finding a cure.”
Umberger said that she is offering a special price for the race this year. “Since we had so many people register the morning of in the past, we decided to do an early bird price,” she said. “The early bird price is $15 if you register before Oct. 24, and after that the fees go up by five dollars. It’s $15 for Penn State students, high school students, and students from other universities.”
“We’re not limiting it to just Penn State students,” Umberger added. “If students want to participate and want to bring a family member or friend, they’ll get the same rate as the student. For faculty and staff, its $20. For community members, its $25, and the cool thing is that you get a t-shirt to remember it.”
Brianna Williams, a senior at Penn State New Kensington and team leader at the university’s athletic center, said she will be helping Umberger coordinate the Turkey Trot for the third year in a row.
“One of the new things we’re doing this year is that we’re giving high school track and cross country teams a group rate,” Williams said. “If 25 people or more sign up, the cost is $100, so teams get a flat rate and everyone gets a t-shirt.”
Umberger said that dogs are welcome to participate in the race. “In the past we haven’t had a ton of people bring dogs, but it’s always nice for people to bring their pets,” she said.
According to Umberger, about 100 people participate in the Turkey Trot each year. “Last year we had a little over 100 participants,” she said. “We’re hoping to have more this year. We’re going to have vendors here in the gym the day of the race. We have had companies that sell beauty products, candles, and lotions come.”
Williams said the race begins near the athletic center on campus. “Everyone meets at the athletic center and then the starting line for the Turkey Trot 5k race is at the stop sign by the athletic center,” she said. “It goes through the top parking lot, and down Myers Drive a mile and a half. Then there’s turnaround, and you run back to the start, and finish by the stop sign.”
Penn State New Kensington senior Abe Strapac said he enjoyed the race when he ran it during his freshman year. “I thought it was pretty fun,” he said. “After the race we came into the gym for raffles, and prizes were given away for the top winners.”
“We got food and it was a good time,” Strapac added. “I helped with the race last year and I’m doing it again this year. It’s pretty fun.”
Williams said the fastest runners and others who are lucky enough to win a raffle may win a wide variety of prizes. “Some of the sponsors are Giant Eagle, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts, so we have a lot of prizes and items to give away,” she said. “Usually some of the prizes include gift certificates for a turkey, gas gift cards, and gift certificates for pizza.”
“I think we’re going to have a great turnout with sponsorships and products this year,” Williams added.
To register for the 5k or 1-Mile Walk or Run, participants can pick up a registration form at the athletic center or contact Pepsi Umberger at 724-334-6747. Cash or checks are accepted, and checks should be made payable to Penn State New Kensington.