[VIDEOS] Turnout Tremendous For Turkey Trot On Picture-Perfect Day

Between the 1-mile fun run and the 5K main event, more than 700 participate.

It was everything organizers Amy Moore and Michelle Clark could have hoped for ... and more, lots more.

"We are so thrilled. The event could not have been more successful. The weather was beautiful. We had over 700 people running in the two races. We’re very excited," said Clark afterwards.

Clark credited Moore with the idea of holding a road race, but the event itself was a team effort. Both women are part of the Main Street Association of East Greenwich (formally the Downtown Planning Initiative). The group embraced the idea, then contacted the East Greenwich Lions to partner on it. The Lions had run several summertime 5Ks in the past - the last time in 2008.

"We were originally hoping for 300 and people didn’t even think that was possible," Clark said. There were so many people, in fact, that they ran out of t-shirts as well as medals for fun-run participants. But not to worry. They are ordering more for those who didn't receive them.

A one-mile fun run took place first, at 9 a.m., with more than 200 participants - most kids. Runners in both events started on Duke Street just south of Division Street. The 5K took off at 9:30 and the course took them through both the harbor and hill sections of town, ending up on Main Street for a few short blocks before turning onto Division for the finish.

EGHS alum Nick Ross (Class of 2009) was the first to finish the race, with a time of 15:49. The first female finisher was Mary Najarian, with a time of 18:21.

Here are the winners in specific age categories (you can find complete results at the Cool Running website):

Age 1-19: male, Brian Musard and Collin Shea; female, Melissa Dalbora and Conner Lynn Dalbora
Age 20-29: male, Joe Siravo and David Holgate; female, Anne London and Katie Ratigan
Age 30-39: male, John Kirkpatrick and Kevin Bolano; female, Karen Benway and Michelle Lambert
Age 40-49: male, Bill Yabroudy and Kenny Bager; female, Sharon Siedliski and Krista Jarrell
Age 50-59: male, Fred Bartlett Jr. and Jim Ferns; female, Julie Oh and Karen Carlon
Age 60-69: male, Forrester Safford and Toby Roberts; female, Alice Farrelly and Robin Wittwer
Age 70-99: male, Paul Basin and Fred Zuleger III; female, Alix Swift and Maureen Reilly

Berniebear November 28, 2011 at 02:08 PM
It seems that having the race on Sunday morning would actually be worse for Main Street. As a participant, I saw lots of runners (including myself) walking up & down Main Street after the race. Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend is usually a travel day or "get ready to go back to work day" for most people, so the turn-out numbers would probably be lower. And aren't a good number of the Main Street stores closed on Sundays? In any case, this race was well publicized for months. The fact that traffic and parking might be a challenge shouldn't have been a surprise. It was a great race and I'm looking forward to next year!!
Sharon Siedliski November 28, 2011 at 03:52 PM
As a participant in the race, it was a great experience. Many thanks to Michelle and Amy, the EG Lions Club, sponsors, volunteers and everyone who helped to make the event possible. From the overwhelming participant numbers, it is clear the community wants this event. Reading the Main St Merchants comments, it seems a few tweaks to the event may bring more value for everyone involved. Some options to consider: start the races earlier so Main St isn't closed down for as long during merchant operating hours. If you are concerned the kids won't run their race earlier either have it after the 5k or if that isn't logistically beneficial shorten it to a half mile. Consider shuttle bus to and from a large parking area (maybe Showcase Cinema on Division St since it's not used in early am hours) if registration numbers warrant such a service. Other larger races with limited parking do this and if participant cars were parked at Showcase, then people would have to linger on Main St, thus bringing potential consumers to Main St. Of course, I'm not sure about costs involved doing that sort of thing - just an idea to ponder! In addition, would reversing the direction of the course work better for Main St. Merhcants...begin the race how we finished it so Main St is congested with runners only at the beginning of the race. I really enjoyed this event and hope to see it continue for a long time!
Aileen Sprague November 28, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Kudos to Amy and Michelle and all of their volunteers! We are so lucky that EG residents are willing to dedicate their own time to making our town the best that it can be. The race was well organized and a lot of fun - thanks for all of your hard work! I look forward to next year's event.
Dale Vernon November 28, 2011 at 08:15 PM
This was a great day and a very well organized event. Thank you to all involved in making it happen. I hope the businesses on Main St. benefitted too. An additional 700 people on Main St. who may not have been there otherwise. I'm sure somebody bought something. How about the Main St. business owners embrace this event next year and offer a promotion. Bring in your bib # from the race and receive 10% off. There you go. Can I suggest some portable restrooms in Pal's Parking Lot next year. I didn't see any and I was looking before the race. I think some day of the race registers snuck in there and got a t-shirt when they were supposed to be for pre-registers only. Might be a reason why you were short. Dale V.
egshopper November 29, 2011 at 05:23 PM
@Sharon, great ideas for the race next year. Hopefully Amy and Michelle will consider these suggestions. I was shopping that day and I didn't see many runners going into stores or on the street. What I did see were people taking advantage of Amex Small Business Saturday and purchasing gifts. Having run in races I don't think I would want to go shopping after running....I would rather go home and shower. Also, being a small business owner John and Iris have valid points. I don't think many people understand how difficult it can be to run a business. You might think that the race is a great way to bring people to Main St, but that might not be the case. Hopefully next year the people organizing the event will take all these concerns into account.


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