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Start stretching those leg muscles because the New Fairfield Park and Recreation Department is planning their 32nd Annual Run for the Turkeys 5K on Sunday, November 20th rain or shine. The 5K road race starts at 11:00 am at the New Fairfield High School.  If you are interested in running or walking registration is open in the office until Friday November18th and walk-in registration will be accepted the day of the race starting at 9:00 am.

Running and walking are great exercises for any age group. For example, 84 year old Katharina Dufner of New Fairfield has been running all her life. When she was a little girl in Germany she used to run to catch the train to go to school.  She shared with me her feelings on running each day, “You must spend the time with yourself before you do things for others.  It is great to run”.  She has won three trophies in the past years in her age category and she plans to run this year too.

Anyone interested in registering is encouraged to do so ahead of time to ensure their place in the race. Registration is limited to 800. There are four ways to register.  You can register online at by mail to New Fairfield Park & Recreation, 4 Brush Hill Road, New Fairfield, CT 06812, you can stop into Park & Rec’s office at 4 Brush Hill Road or call 203-31205633.  All runners will receive a numbered bib for digital timing and for positional placement.  Timing of the runners will be provided by Paynes Corner Timing.

T-shirts will be given to all 5K runners and walkers registered by October 21st. Pre-registered 5K runners and walkers can pick up their t-shirts in the Park & Rec office from November 14th through November 17th from 8:30 – 5:30 pm or t-shirts can be picked up on the day of the race.    Walk-in registration starts at 9:00 am at the High School.

Children grades 3 through 5 can participate in the Run for the Turkeys 5K road race or they can run the KIDS FUN RUN (12 years and under) which will be held on the track at 10 am. The 5K Road Race starts at 11 am.  The Health Walk follows the road race.  The cost of the races are as follows:  5K Road Race is $27.  Health Walk $17.  KIDS FUN RUN $5 (all children receive a medal).  Coach Jim Ogden and the members of the NF Cross Country are helping run the KIDS FUN RUN.

Pre-registered 5K runners and walkers will receive a t-shirt. On the back of the t-shirt is a list of the major sponsors which consist of:  Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Collins-Morrow, Dom’s Garden Center, Dunkin Donuts, 98Q, Grass Roots, Hat City Maintenance, Mitchell Oil, Aqua Guys, Savings Bank of Danbury, Stop & Shop, The Goodie Shoppe, World Champion Taekwondo, Union Savings Bank, The Barnyard, EarthFit & Whole Fit, Elmer’s Diner and New Fairfield Dental.

There will be a free raffle open to the runners and walkers. Raffle prizes are donated by these generous local businesses:  Olde 37 Grille, Sunny Days Chanel Nail Salon, Classic Nails, Yummy Yummy Chinese Restaurant, Heritage Liquor, New Fairfield Liquor, Portofino’s Restaurant, Village Florist, Woodbridge Running Club, New Fairfield Veterinary Hospital, Bruno’s Pizza, Earth Fit, Classic Car Wash, Manely You Hair Salon, Stew Leonard’s, Biscotti’s Restaurant, New Fairfield Food Center, Fairwoods Liquor and Halas Market.

The participants of the 5K race will start and finish at the New Fairfield High School. The course will start at the New Fairfield High School (54 Gillotti Rd) at end of driveway turn right onto Gillotti Road, left on Titicus Mountain Rd, right on Timber Springs Rd, left on Autumn Ridge Rd, left on Titicus Mountain Road, right on Gillotti Rd and left into high school.

There will be water stations along the route run by the Boy Scout Pack 142 lead by Ethan Mabel. The runners and walkers will be e tertained along the race route by the musical band “After Hours”.   Any runners or walkers who arrive in a Thanksgiving theme costume will have a chance to win a turkey donated by New Fairfield Food Center.  There will be three turkeys to be awarded.

There are local groups participating in the run – Earthfit owned by Seana Hart, Sun Angel Fitness owned by Natalie Staszak and The Couch to 5k and Beyond Running Program which is sponsored by the Park and Recreation department and is led by Sandra Wilson. For the last 10 weeks Sandra Wilson, Physical Therapist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach has been helping to train individuals from the Couch to 5K and Beyond Running Program for this race.

The Run for the Turkeys could not run without the many volunteers who come out to lend support. From the Parks and Recreation Commission members and their family to Savings Bank of Danbury, Candlewood Lions Club, the Farinha Family, New Fairfield Public Works Dept., and New Fairfield Fire Police as well as two resident troopers.

Anyone who comes out for the fun of the race will enjoy bagels, muffins and donuts donated by Dunkin Donuts and The Goodie Shoppe. To help keep you hydrated, water, bananas and apples will be donated by Stop & Shop.  If you get cold from the wind, coffee and hot chocolate will be supplied by the Park and Recreation Department.

The New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department will be manning the roads and the paramedics will be on hand in case of injury. After the race the runners’ times they will be posted outside of the NFHS Cafeteria or they can go to Paynes Corner Timing’s website at  Overall winners will be announced and awarded a trophy.

Trophies will be awarded to the female and male participants in their age division. All children who participate will receive medals.

All participants are asked to please bring a non-perishable food item for the New Fairfield Social Services Food Pantry. If you have any questions about registration for the Run for the Turkeys please contact Linda Lull, Director of Park and Recreation at 203-312-5633.

By Christine Savino