Before families came together to enjoy a nice meal on Thanksgiving, the Socorro Striders and Riders organization put on its annual Turkey Trot 5K race at the Rodeo and Sports Complex.
Thirty-three runners came out early Thursday morning for the event. After an 8:30 a.m. registration process competitors warmed up on the sunny but chilly November morning before hitting the trail at 9 a.m. The course started and finished on the soccer field. That lead into the dirt trail on the east part of the complex, the same course the Warriors cross country team trains at.
“Our group wants to support running, biking and other events that get people outdoors,” SSR President John Leeper said. “The Striders and Riders hope to get as many people out and active as we can. Old people, young people, skinny people, larger people, parents with strollers or running with their pets. It’s all about being outdoors with fellow community members.”
The collection of runners was a very diverse group. Ages ranged from 6 to 60. Several parents ran with their children along side them or by pushing them through in a stroller.
Gilberto Gonzalez is currently a mathematics professor at New Mexico Tech. He moved here a few years ago from Texas, but was born and raised in Venezuela before coming to the U.S. He is a member of the SSR and was there early to help set up the course.
“I am and we as a club are happy that people are outside and enjoying themselves,” he said. “It is very rewarding for us and for me to see participants having fun while doing so in the beautiful outdoors we have here in Socorro.”
On the men’s side, Caleb McCurry came in first place with a time of 19:54:00, followed closely by Dan Wells and Ben Adam in second and third respectively.
Julie Ford had the fastest time for the ladies at 22:47:00 with Stacy Timmons and Graciela Garcia not far behind. Ford also serves on the SSR Board of Directors in the organizations Secretary position. She has participated in events for the SSR going on 15 years.
“No matter whether you come out to run or walk the race you’re always welcome with the Striders and Riders,” she said. “Having a community of people like we do who are committed to being active while also helping to support so many great causes here in the county is the main goal for us.”
At the finish line winners McCurry and Ford were awarded an appropriate trophy for the holiday, a turkey.
The Striders and Riders will host one more event in 2018 on Dec. 8. The 5K Holiday Toy Donation race will take place at the plaza. Instead of the usual registration fee, participants are asked to bring a wrapped Christmas gift marked with age range and gender that will be donated to children in Socorro. If you would like to get involved further email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.