This race is no turkey

Photos Courtesy of Corrine Palacios
Five-year-old Liesl Nelson, with her stuffed-animal goat, races in the Spartan Turkey Trot’s 60-yard dash on Thanksgiving morning at Mountain View High.

Record attendance at this year’s Spartan Turkey Trot led to record revenue, which means more money for Mountain View High athletics.

Organizer Corrine Palacios said 1,352 people registered for the eighth annual event, held Thanksgiving morning at the school and on surrounding streets. That brought in $34,555 in registration fees, she noted. Add $585 in donations and $1,000 in sponsorships, and the turkey trot generated a record $36,140 in gross revenue, according to Palacios. The net proceeds will go to the Mountain View High Sports Boosters, earmarked for team equipment and field/facility improvements.

Founded in 2010 by then-assistant boys basketball coach Mike Mulkey, the turkey trot has come a long way since its inaugural year when approximately 100 people participated.

“I believe the success of the event is because it has something for everyone in the family. We have babies in strollers, hardcore runners pacing 5-minute miles and up to 83-year-olds participating,” said Palacios, who also recognized the more than 100 volunteers who help make it happen. “It’s becoming a family tradition for MVLA.”

While a majority of the participants run the 5K race that starts and finishes on the school track – winding through nearby neighborhoods in between – the shorter races prove most popular with spectators.

“The big draw for this event is always the children’s races,” Mulkey said. “We run a 60- and 400-yard dash, and watching these races alone is worth the price of admission.”

Nicholas Sigmon was worth watching, too. The San Leandro resident broke his own course records in the men’s 5K and Spartan Mile, winning both races for the second year in a row. Sigmon ran the 5K in 15 minutes, 49 seconds and the mile in a blazing 4:42.

“I talked to him after (the mile) and he told me he ran a 67-second final lap – which is truly world class,” Mulkey said. “And that’s after he ran the 5K. Pretty cool.”

Sigmon’s 5K time was 26 seconds faster than runner-up Charles Mullane of Sunnyvale. James Kasten of Los Altos placed third (16:54).

Mountain View High graduate Melissa Reed won the women’s 5K. The Los Altos resident finished in 17:29; San Jose’s Marina Glaus came in second (18:28) and Mountain View’s Lauren Matheou was third (20:25).

The top-three finishers in each division won prizes ranging from a pumpkin pie to free passes to the Tech Museum of Innovation and gift certificates to a local running shoe store.

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