Turkey Trot participants all have one thing in common — family | SteamboatToday.com

Turkey Trot participants all have one thing in common — family

Karina Schwartznau and Penn Lukens dressed as turkeys at the annual Turkey Trot at Steamboat Springs High School on Thursday, Nov. 28.
Shelby Reardon

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Family. Whether determined by blood or by choice, family is the reason people come together for a Thanksgiving feast. Family is also the reason 100 or so people gathered at Steamboat Springs High School on Thursday and ran in the annual 5-kilometer Turkey Trot.

Kevin Fonger’s dogs are part of the family. They do everything together. So even though Fozzie, one of his two Airedale terriers, had a broken paw, Fonger found a way to include him.

Fonger pushed the pup in a large stroller, similar to the ones kids ride in behind their parents bikes.

“The dogs always go with us on the Turkey Trots, so we had to take him along,” Fonger said.

Fonger and his family have been running in the Turkey Trot for five years and enjoyed the 2019 version which featured sunshine, but a chilly start.

“I’m thankful for my family and good health,” Fonger said at the finish line. “And just to be living in Steamboat.”

Frannie Johnson, 34, was also pushing a stroller during the trot, but hers had a tiny human in it, her 2-year-old son, Louie. Johnson’s husband was nearby, pushing their 5-year-old son in another stroller. 

Kevin Fonger pushes Fozzie, his Airedale terrier, during annual Turkey Trot at Steamboat Springs High School on Thursday, Nov. 28.
Shelby Reardon

“It’s one of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions,” she said. “It’s pretty fun. We loved bringing the whole family.”

Johnson said the boys aren’t quite ready to run alongside them, but still get excited to join their parents at the event. 

Matthew Kempton’s kids didn’t run with him, but greeted him when he crossed the finish line first. He and his wife are both active and hope to be healthy examples for his young kids. 

“I think we try to get our kids involved in what we enjoy and what we do and what we feel are healthy activities, so they can model that,” Kempton said. “I think as athletes and as people, we need to be good examples, for not only our kids, but other people’s children and help motivate that lifestyle.”

Kempton said he was thankful for his family, who capped off a spectacular year by moving to Steamboat just a few months ago. 

Like most people, Ann Noyes was with her family. The 80-year-old just jogged a small portion of the course, but she did it in style, wearing a bright green peas in a pod outfit.

Ann Noyes, 80, dressed as peas in a pod at the annual Turkey Trot.
Shelby Reardon

This is the third time she’s participated in the Turkey Trot alongside other family members, who ran the whole course.

Noyes was not the only trotter wearing a costume. Some wore hats or brightly colored vests or onesies. No one stuck out quite like Karina Schwartznau and Penn Lukens, though, who both wore vibrant turkey costumes.

“Why not?” Lukens said of his get up. “It’s more fun in costumes, it makes everyone happy.”

Despite the cold temperatures, Schwartznau said she was well-seasoned by the time she finished the race. 

While Lukens has run the race every year, this is Schwartznau’s first year and first Thanksgiving in Steamboat.

“I am thankful for a family away from home,” she said.

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

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