By KEN MORSE
A crowd of close to 400 assembled in the parking lot of the Middle School of Plainville on Saturday, Nov. 9, for the Thanks for Giving 5K and Turkey Trot to raise funds for the middle school spring sports program that was cut from the revised education budget.
There were 150 runners that pre-registered for the race and another 50 athletes signing up on the date of the event, which included a one-mile kids race and a 5K road race. The course was lined with well-wishers to cheer on the racers and, based on the results of the turnout, the event was deemed a success.
A group of mother-daughter tandems from the middle school softball team spearheaded the event, including Terren and Faith Emery, Sara and Natalie Limmer, and Erika and Alexis Graff. The organizers worked in conjunction with Plainville athletic director Chris Farrell to put on the event.
“This is a great community,” said Steven LePage, superintendent of Plainville Community Schools. “This is another example of families and the community pulling together to make this happen.”
The community of Plainville got behind this worthwhile event and over 25 local business sponsors stepped up, including a donation of 100 free race t-shirts from Torchlight Graphics of Plainville, along with food and beverages from Dunkin Donuts, Crystal Rock and Highland Market.
“I want to thank the parents that got together to get this going, and I consider this a huge success,” said LePage. “To the student athletes who came out to help, to the parents, and to the runners, everybody was a winner today.”
Plainville Middle School cross country coach Ryan Acey wasn’t taking any chances. The Plainville coach pulled away from the rest of the field, finishing first in a time of 17:44— almost two minutes ahead of his closest competitor.
“Plainville is a great town,” said Acey. “I just knew that the community would come together and support this great cause for the kids. Being the coach of the cross country team, I knew I just had to win this race,” he added with a laugh.
Larissa Giordano was the first female finisher at 21:27. Curtis Johnson won the under-18 male group in a time of 19:57. Morgan Levesque (21:44) captured the title in the under-18 girls group.
The youngsters had a great deal of fun in the one mile race going up against Mr. Turkey and had their pictures taken with him prior to the race. All the kids also received medals for completing the race.
“We are grateful to all of our sponsors and all of you for your support,” said Sara Limmer, addressing the crowd prior to the start of the race.
For complete results visit www.coolrunning.com/results/17/nh/Nov23_Thanks_set1.shtml.