5K Turkey Trot sees record participation

Embracing an extended running season perk of little snow

About 200 people turned out this year for an in-person Turkey Trot through Big Sky’s Town Center on Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Day. The 5K (3.1 miles) run, which acts as a fundraiser for Big Sky Ski Education Foundation (BSSEF), started at the fire pit and weaved through the West Fork and South Fork, subdivisions, out toward the Outlaw rodeo grounds, and then finished in Big Sky’s town center.

The race was altered in 2020 due to Covid-19 but about 100 people participated virtually according to Runsignup, a popular race website. This year marks the 5K Turkey Trot’s 12th year.

Jeremy Ueland, the program director for BSSEF for the last 15 years, explained the atmosphere was different this winter: “This year was a record year of participants and there was a great vibe in the air. Everyone was happy to be outside and enjoying the Montana air... The conditions were great... not too cold, blue sky. The roads were a little slick,” explained Ueland.

BSSEF first formed in 1993 as a non-profit organization offering competitive Alpine skiing opportunities for local youth in Big Sky, MT. Nowadays, BSSEF offers numerous programs through youth leagues for kids and young adults. They also offer a master’s league and junior development program for athletes from 14-20 years with a focus on Nordic, Alpine, and Freeride.

Although ski season is not starting off to the best start, lots of folks showed up to the 5K to wind through town and shake out their legs. Locals Bear Schickel, Leah Lange, and Kaley Burns took advantage of the extended running season and finished in the top 3 with impressive sub six-minute mile paces.

Other noteworthy participants included runners from New Zealand, California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Wisconsin. The youngest racers included Big Sky locals from the Arend and Morris family, at six and eight years old, who finished the race also.

To get a better idea of times, checkout the results for male and female’s Top 3 finishers or head online to check out the full results list. 

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Lone Peak Lookout

Cori Koenig, editor: editor@lonepeaklookout.com
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